Four million Colombians will not be able to vote in the 2010
elections, as the National Registry says it does not have the money to
officially register them.
According to the National Registry, the lack of money is because the Finance Ministry has only facilitated about US$1.5 million of the requested US$14 million.
In order for Colombians to vote they need to register their ID cards in their place of residence.
Since 2005 and 2007 there have not been new registration processes for ID cards of respectively citizens overseas and inside Colombia.
Therefore, it is expected that nearly 4 million citizens would register their identity documents. This includes people who have changed their place of residence and would-be first time voters.
The registration was scheduled to begin on July 15 and was expected to last two months.
The funds requested by the National Registry on April 1 to the Finance Ministry are needed for salaries of temporary personal and the leasing of equipment that ensures the transparency of the process.
On June 10, the National Registrar, Carlos Ariel Sánchez, already revealed that the Government did not deliver the resources for the registration process.
These unregistered ID cards do not affect the electoral census but only inhibit citizens from exercising their democratic right.
The problems at the Registry do not only affect the elections, but also the upcoming referendum on life imprisonment for rapists and murderers of children and the referendum on a new presidential re-election. Referendums need 25 percent of the electoral census to vote and a simple majority in order to be valid.