Election Working Groups Discuss Voter Registration Procedures

The electoral reform working groups from the ruling CPP and opposition CNRP on Monday left talks at the National Assembly divided over what proof of identity voters will be required to present on polling day if they do not have a national identification card.

Senior CNRP official Kuoy Bunroeun, who is leading the opposition in the talks to rewrite the election law, said that the two sides had agreed, however, that those registering to vote would be required to provide photographs and give their fingerprints.

“We agreed over the matter of marking the identity of each voter by, firstly, [requiring] the voter to record their data by showing an attached photo and scanning their fingerprints, and then use the two as the basics…for the voter list,” he said.

Mr. Bunroeun said that the working groups had also reached a consensus on the voter registration period in election years, deciding that it would be extended from 30 to 50 days to allow the National Election Committee (NEC) to ensure the voter list is accurate.

Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, who has led the ruling party in the talks, said the CNRP had dropped its previous insistence that special election ID cards be issued to voters who register, and now agree that regular IDs will suffice.

“We now agree to use identification cards as the basic grounds, as they did not agree previously. The issue that we still need to discuss further is that if there is no Cambodian identification card, what alternative shall be used?” he said.

Mr. Chhin said the ruling party was happy for the NEC to continue issuing special “1018” forms to voters who do not have national ID cards, while the CNRP wants special voter cards to be issued to those who do not have IDs.

Mr. Chhin said the CNRP also suggested opening voter registration centers on the Thai border to cut short the trip required by migrant workers to register for elections, but said that the CPP has no position on the proposal as of yet.

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