ABEC resumes printing of voter ID cards

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Employees at the Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) resumed printing of voter identification cards some six weeks after the process was halted following a row over which official’s signature should appear on the cards.

A well-placed source told OBSERVER media since the resumption, the commission has produced just over 10,000 of the 48,000 plus cards to be prepared, coming out of the September 30 to November 4, 2013 mass re-registration exercise.

The source said the workers are pulling double shifts to complete the task within a month, since printing is being done at a rate of about 1, 700 cards a day.

Last month, the commission printed about 1,700 cards when an issue arose over why the signature of Chief Registration Officer Lorna Simon appeared on the identification document instead of the signature of ABEC Chairman Juno Samuel.

At that time, regulations stipulated that the CRO was the appropriate signatory. However, the matter was subsequently taken to parliament and a resolution was passed to authorise the chairman to sign.

The 1,700 cards bearing Simon’s signature were scrapped, the source said, at an approximate cost of $18,000 to ABEC.

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