GECOM to cross-match fingerprints, verify residency before producing ID cards

National Identification Cards of Guyana

See full statement issued by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM):

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is committed to provide accurate information to all Stakeholders in a timely manner. It is in this regard that this opportunity is taken to provide clarity on (i) the responsibility for the filling of the Registration Forms, (ii) signature of applicants for registration, residency verification, and (iv) production and distribution of National Identification Cards.

There are a variety of Statutory Forms that must be filled when applying for any of the various registration transactions, as a matter of Commission policy, by GECOM Registration Staff – a task that they are trained extensively to perform. Accordingly, applicants for registration are not permitted to fill any of the Forms.

GECOM recognizes that individual persons have their respective signatures which they have been using customarily. Accordingly, there is no prescribed signature requirement which must be met by applicants for registration, save and except for placing their signature in the space provided for this purpose.

Residency verification is a statutory component process which must be completed relative to the processing of an application for registration. In this regard, the Commission – as a matter of policy – decided that Registration Staff must visit the residential address provided by an applicant no sooner than 48 hours after the application was made. The justification for this is to discourage persons applying for registration from using addresses where they do not reside. Further, this measure is pivotal to the correct placement of eligible persons in any List of Electors to ensure that they are correctly listed to vote at polling stations for the catchment area that is pertinent to their residential addresses.

National Identification Cards are produced and issued to persons whose applications for registration are successful. In this regard, it must be noted that GECOM is responsible to ensure that no person is listed more than once in the National Register of Registrants (NRR). Accordingly, the Commission conducts due diligence checks for double registrations by cross-matching the fingerprints of all applicants for registration against those of the registrants who are listed in the NRR.

It follows that fingerprints taken from applicants for registration during any given registration exercise can be dispatched for cross-matching only after the close of the exercise. Fingerprint cross-matching is currently outsourced to an overseas contractor.

It is only after the applicants for registration have been cleared as new applicants for registration, through this methodology, that they are committed to the NRR and ID Cards would be produced for them accordingly. It is not unusual for this to take place until about two months after the closure of the particular registration exercise.

In view of the foregoing, it is essential that all Stakeholders be advised that queries pertaining to the work of GECOM be made specifically through its Public Relations Officer.