Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has asked political parties to sensitise their supporters to the biometric voter registration that will be used during registration for the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
MEC commissioner for electoral services Jean Mathanga said this at Kamwendo in Mchinji District where the electoral body demonstrated to electoral stakeholders how the electronic biometric voter registration will work.
“We came to Mchinji to run proof of the concept for the new system of voters’ registration because we will be rolling out the first phase of registration on May 25 this year.
“We wanted to check how the equipment is working for all stakeholders to see so that they can inform others on how effective the equipment is,” she said.
Mathanga said in the previous elections, MEC used optical mark recognition system where voters’ information was collected manually and this caused problems.
“In the system, voter information was taken by the registration staff on paper, then the papers were transferred to our head office where data was entered into our machines.
“Sometimes there could be errors because they [the officials] could not record the names correctly, there was loss of paper, and in some instances, head teachers in registration centres could not release all the papers,” she said.
The MEC official said the biometric voter registration would ease the registration process, save time and also ensure that only bonafide citizens register thier names in the voters’roll.
Mchinji district commissioner Rosemary Nawasha said she would organise a meeting for all political parties in the district to map the way forward on how they can sensitise the residents to the new voters’ registration.
MEC will on May 25 embark on voters’ registration in five districts, namely Mchinji, Kasungu, Nkhotakota, Ntchisi and Dowa. n