The National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust has narrowed down its focus to increasing voter turnout on polling day and the reduction of null and void votes in the May 20 Tripartite Elections.
Nice Trust executive director Ollen Mwalubunju made the announcement yesterday in Blantyre at a press briefing explaining that the organisation has taken into account past experiences and lessons from the statistics from previous elections.
“We are further propelled by the civic and voter education strategy for the 2014 elections as guided by MEC [Malawi Electoral Commission] to contribute towards the reduction of null and void votes to less than 3.5 percent of the valid votes,” he said.
In 2009 polls, the lowest percentage turnout was recorded in Mchinji (73.31 percent) while in terms of participation, Rumphi had the highest voter turnout (87.22 percent) .
Mwalubunju said the figures indicate that the districts have their own unique challenges, and as a civic education provider, Nice will try to avoid applying a “one-size-fits-all” solution to voter problems.
Meanwhile, Nice has identified a variety of approaches and methodologies in its sensitisation and awareness campaign to increase voter turnout on polling day and reduce null and void votes in the May 20 elections.
The approaches and methodologies include road shows, village meetings, and letters to religious institutions, sports bonanzas, door-to-door campaign and cinema shows, among others.