ECN starts preparations for general voter registration

20 Nov 2013 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 20 NOV (NAMPA) - Close to 40 Regional and Assistant Regional Coordinators of elections are gathered in the capital to attend a two-day briefing session of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) on the upcoming general registration of voters.
The upcoming general registration will take place from 15 January to 02 March 2014 and the Regional and Assistant Regional Coordinators will be in charge of managing the exercise in their respective regions.
The participants, who are from all 14 regions of the country, will familiarise themselves with the new mobile voter registration system through demonstrations.
Officially opening the briefing session in the capital on Wednesday, the Director of Elections Professor Paul John Isaak said the ECN attaches a high value to the registration of voters exercise.
He explained that the new mobile voter registration system will capture fingerprints and bio-data in the registration process and voters will then be issued with a voter cards at the point of registration.
The new voters’ cards, to be used for the next 10 years, will look like the current Identity Documents (ID) card, replacing the old card which was made of paper and plastic.
This system, according to Prof Isaak, will make registration easy, faster and present the ECN with accurate data, eliminating problems associated with voters’ registers, such as double entries and inaccurate voter information.
He said with the new voter's card, it will be impossible for a person to vote twice, as it avoids double registration.
“We do not need to make duplicates except in cases of a fire. If it is kept well, the card has a lifespan of 10 years and we have enough machines to cover for the whole country,” he said.
The Director of Elections therefore encouraged the participants to link up with the ECN’s Voter Education Officers currently in the regions and work together to inform and educate the public on the general registration process.
Apart from the new General Voters’ Registration system, Isaak said participants will discuss ethical behaviour during the voter registration process and technicalities surrounding the new mobile voter registration system, salaries, voter registration education and publicity, among others.
The briefing sessions ends on Thursday.