EBC distributes ID cards in prisons

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Golden Grove Prison, Arouca.

The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), in collaboration with the prison service, has helped prisoners apply for their ID cards, renew or replace lost ones.

This exercise took place in Arouca at the Women’s Prison, Golden Grove Prison/Remand Prison and the Maximum Security Prison last Friday.

That day, a team from the EBC carried out around 90 transactions and those who had already applied collected their ID cards.

In a release on Wednesday, the EBC said prisoners are only disqualified from voting if they have been given the death sentence or are imprisoned for over 12 months.

Fern Narcis-Scope, chief election officer, said this is the first time a project of this magnitude had been undertaken despite the EBC’s work with the prison service on voter matters.

Narcis-Scope expressed her gratitude to the Prison Social Welfare officers, as, along with logistics and planning, they worked with the inmates’ families to secure the necessary documents for their ID cards.

Deopersad Ramoutar, acting Commissioner of Prisons, described the initiative as “a historic day in the prisons.” He thanked the EBC for its service and expressed interest in continuing this programme especially for the people remanded into the prison system and who are still entitled under the Representation of the People Act.

In April. the EBC has a similar programme in which it set up temporary offices across TT to help people renew their ID cards after facing challenges brought on by the covid19 pandemic. That programme was a walk-in service and the EBC said it was deemed “a huge success by an appreciative public.” Approximately 4,500 transactions were done.