ECN launches voter education campaign

17 Dec 2013 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 17 DEC (NAMPA) - The success of any electoral process in many instances depends on how the electorate and all stakeholders are educated and informed about the process.
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), Notemba Tjipueja made this statement here on Tuesday at the launch of the voter education campaign for the General Registration of Voters (GRV) next year.
“Section 15 of the Electoral Act, Act 24 of 1992 provides for the ECN to conduct GRVs at intervals of not more than 10 years after the last one,” she explained.
So far, only two GRVs have taken place in Namibia.
The first General Registration of Voters took place from 21 September to 27 October 1992, whilst the second took place between 01 July and 31 August 2003.
The third GRV is slated for 15 January to 02 March 2014 as proclaimed by President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
“ECN started intensifying activities in preparation of the GRV by training regional coordinators and constituency supervisors from 02 to 06 December 2013,” she said.
Training of registration officials at foreign missions took place from 09 to 13 December 2013, whilst from 16 to 21 December 2013 training for the registration officials that are going to do the actual registration will take place.
Tjipueja said the voter education programme aims to enlighten and encourage citizens to appreciate their individual and collective roles and contributions to the democratic process.
“Furthermore, voter education deals with imparting knowledge and understanding on the rules and procedure that facilitate the organisation, planning and execution of electoral activities including registration of voters as well as voting,” she added.
Meanwhile, the ECN Chairperson also indicated that unlike the previous GRVs, next year the nation will witness the introduction of the new biometric voter registration system, replacing the old manual system that was based on an optical mark reader.
Speaking about how the ECN will conduct the voter education campaign, the Deputy Director in ECN’s Democracy Building Division, Hilda Nakakuwa said a lot of activities will be conducted as part of the information dissemination process.
“We will for example have an SMS service where we will be interacting with the public where they can pose questions. We will also be having road shows going on in the regions where will be doing edutainment, especially targeting the youth,” she explained.
Close to five voter education officials will be deployed to each region with the exception of the Otjozondjupa and Oshikoto Regions, which will receive more than five officials.
The campaign will continue until the last day of the GRV.
The ECN on Tuesday also availed a document listing the voters' registration points to members of the media.