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#BudgetDebate2018: PM responds to call for online voting

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he finds the call by newly appointed People's National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO) Krystal Tomlinson for discussions centred on the possibility of online voting in national elections, interesting since her party has “stoutly rejected the very means by which this kind of e-governance would be possible – the National Identification System”.

Tomlinson, days after she was catapulted to the position to succeed Norman Manley Law School student Connoly Black, insisted that there was a strong possibility that voters, the younger ones in particular, could see online voting, as exists in some developed countries, as one way of improving the voter turnout, which dipped below 50 per cent during the 2016 General Election.

Read: Tomlinson wants online voting talks

The NIDS is being facilitated under the National Identification and Registration Bill, which was passed in the Houses of Parliament last year, and will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of identity information for all Jamaicans.

Under the system, which will have anti-fraud features, each citizen will have a unique nine-digit national identification number (NIN) that they will have for life.

It is expected that the NIDS will become the primary source for identity assurance, authentication and verification, in order to improve the governance and management of social, economic and security programmes.

Roll-out of NIDS is slated to begin with a pilot project in January 2019, focusing on civil servants.

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