Digital IDs cannot be used for voting in the presidential election

The Elections Commission (EC) has said although digital national identity cards have been introduced in the Maldives, current laws do not allow for voting using digital ID cards in this year's presidential election.

An unexpired official document proving that a person is a Maldivian citizen is required to vote in the Presidential Election. The document is checked, and the ballot paper is issued to voters at an Election Commission post at the polling station. Although official documents are required from the ballot post, they are not required inside the voting booth.

EC's Vice President Ismail Habeeb told AVAS that according to the law, four types of documents could be used for voting. They are the national ID card, license card, passport, and passport card. All four types can be used if it has not expired, said Habeeb.

While the law states that mobile phones are not allowed inside the voting booth, Habeeb said mobile phones are not allowed even at the post that issues the ballot paper. However, if the Parliament amends the law, the EC will work to make it possible to vote using digital ID cards for voting, he said.

Habeeb further said that although the law prohibits voting using digital ID cards, the commission is working to facilitate the use of digital IDs to make the re-registration process easier for voters.

This year's presidential election will be held on September 9. If the election goes to a second round, voting will be held on September 30.

The EC has said 280,000 people will be eligible to vote in the presidential election. EC earlier said that more than 600 ballot boxes would be set up for the election.

An Election Commission official told AVAS that the Planning Ministry has assured that the Dharubaaruge will be designated the main election center for this year's presidential election. He said the commission would begin election-related work at the election center on April 25 after completing any repairs that need to be done.