The Electoral Commission has distanced itself from allegations by a Transport Malta whistleblower who claimed to have evidence of a conspiracy to use identity cards belonging to deceased foreign-born citizens for other foreign residents to vote for the Labour Party in return for payment.
In a terse press release on Wednesday, the Commission said it has “no role in the issuing of ID Cards”. It confirmed it had “taken note of the reports”, that it is “following the case closely” and “is ready to cooperate fully” with an investigation.
In a court application on Tuesday addressed to Magistrate Rachel Montebello a whistleblower who exposed the suspected driving license racket at Transport Malta, claimed foreign national citizens were not registered as deceased when they died and that their identities were being used by non-citizen residents to vote in their stead.
The whistleblower claimed to personally know some of the people assuming the identity of the deceased citizens.
In response to the claims, the Labour Party issued a press statement claiming the general elections are organised by a commission made up of exponents from both parties that has continuous scrutiny over all aspects of the process, seemingly contradicting the Commission’s latest claim of not being involved in the identity card process.
Although the issuing of identity cards was once handled by the Electoral Commission itself, the system was changed in 2013 with the introduction of the National Identity Management System (NIDMS).
In 2016, then Electoral Commissioner Joseph Church had written to then Identity Malta Executive Chairman Joseph Vella Bonnici chastising ID Malta for not providing the Commission with timely updates to the list of registered and naturalised citizens, with the latest lists provided at the time having been from two years earlier.
The situation created an issue at the Electoral Commission when it could not reconcile the number of voters with the number of registered citizens.
Current Chief Electoral Commissioner Joseph Camilleri did not answer when contacted by The Shift and his office instead referred the newsroom to its terse press release.