The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will from Monday next week to January 9, 2019 carry out voter verification exercise to give an opportunity to all registered voters to verify if their names and photographs appear in the register.
MEC’s director of media and public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa has since called on all registered voters to take part in the exercise saying this will allow for objections to the entries that will be made public and accommodate transfers of the registered voters from place of registration to the desired polling stations.
Said Mwafulirwa: “All centres that were used for voter registration will be opened for voter verification. The exercise will be done in four phases of five days each. However, stakeholders should know that there will be no fresh voter registration during this period.”
However, he said just like in the previous election, registered voters will also be able to verify their details by sending an SMS with their voter number to 5VOTE (58683).
“This facility will be able to only verify text details of the registrant i.e. names and centre where registered. This is a free facility and available to TNM and Airtel subscribers. Users will not be required to have airtime in their mobile phone to access the service,” he explained.
Mwafulirwa further advised that in case there are errors in the registration information or the system responds that the details are not available, voters, are encouraged to visit the centre where they registered and will be assisted accordingly.
He urged those who have relocated from the place they registered to utilise this chance and process their transfers adding that transfers will only be processed during the voter verification period. “After that MEC will not process any transfer.”
MEC conducted voter registration exercise across the country in eight phases from June 26 to November 9, 2018 where 6.8 million people registered to vote in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
MEC ruled out reopening of voter registration following completion of the exercise which captured 81 percent of the projected figure, despite calls to reopen some centers from other electoral stakeholders particularly the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
In a statement dated November 16, 2018 signed by chief elections officer Sam Alfandika, the electoral body observed that the minimum statutory 14 days registration period for each registration centre was duly observed.
Alfandika said there was also sufficient public awareness and mobilisation campaign for the voter registration.
MCP earlier pressed the electoral body to re-open registration centres in some first phase districts where the party felt eligible voters were disenfranchised.
However, the party backtracked on its demands saying it resolved not to fight on the matter anymore.
Out of the registered 6 856 295 voters , 3 810 020 are women and a total of 3 735 894 of the total registrants are aged under 35.