The Malawi Electoral Commission has started conducting public meetings with traditional leaders and their subjects as part of the drive to mobilise voters to register for the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Mec recently announced that it would embark on voter registration exercises in eight phases of two weeks each from June 26 to November 9 this year.
Mec spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, said Tuesday that the electoral body is targeting traditional leaders and their subjects in the first phase, which will cover Kasungu, Salima and Dedza.
“We will be going to every council prior to commencement of the actual voter registration exercise. For the first phase, we have arranged public meetings from June 11 to 16 at the headquarters of traditional leaders to educate the public about voter registration,” he said.
Mwafulirwa said, during the meetings, Mec commissioners would give out information on issues such as how the electoral body will conduct voter registration and who is eligible to register, with emphasis on the use of the National Identification (ID) card, which will be used to identify eligible voters.
“We have adopted a new way of registering people and we have to intensify efforts of reaching out to the public with awareness messages. These public meetings are just one element of the strategies we will use to reach out to the public so that they become aware and participate in voter registration.
“We will have road shows, football bonanzas and traditional dances. We will also have messages coming through radio and television. We are using a multifaceted approach so that we don’t leave anyone behind,” Mwafulirwa said.
As Mec commences registration, stakeholders will be eager to see if the new system of registration will live up to billing. It has been touted as effective and secure as it will be easy to screen minors and non-Malawians and bar them from registering.
Mwafulirwa asked those who have lost their national IDs not to despair.
“All people that have never registered for the national IDs will be registered by National Registration Bureau (NRB) teams in voter registration centres. The same applies to those who have lost their national IDs or have not collected them. Using fingerprint technology, NRB teams will be able to identify and print registration slips which will be used during voter registration” he said.