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Digital IDs cannot be used for voting, says Elections Commission

Malika Shahid
12 March 2023, MVT 15:59
Vice President of Elections Commission Ismail Habeeb speaking at a press coference held by the commission held in Januart -- Phot: Fayaaz Moosa
Malika Shahid
12 March 2023, MVT 15:59

The Elections Commission (EC) today said that digital ID cards cannot be used for voting under the current electoral regulations.

The Vice President of the Commission, Ismail Habeeb, said that the law specifies only four valid documents that can be used to vote, which are:

- ID card

- Passport

- Passport Card

- Driving license

As the law stipulates the types of documents that can be used to verify voters' identities, the digital ID set to be launched by the government cannot be used for voting purposes, he said.

The government is in the process of testing the card but has not announced a date for its introduction. The government's intention is to start using digital IDs but to also be able to print cards if desired.

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology's state minister Mohamed Shareef assured that the digital ID will be used after ensuring that the public's personal information is protected.

Habeeb said the Ministry had sent a letter regarding the use of digital ID in the election. However, he said the opportunity would not be given without changing the law.

"Digital ID is available on the phone, something that is prohibited from being brought inside the polling station. Digital ID can be used once the phone is allowed inside the polling stations," Habeeb said.

According to Habeeb, the ban on phones in polling stations was to improve security there. However, the Elections Commission said that the opportunity will be given if the law is amended.