Dead persons bloat Malawi’s voters’ roll – MEC

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says the forthcoming fresh voter registration will offer an opportunity for the Commission to have a clean and updated voters roll saying the current one is bloated with dead persons.

“At the moment, the nation does not have a systematic means of reporting deaths which could help to have dead persons automatically removed from the voters roll,” MEC Chairman Justice Maxon Mbendera has disclosed.

Justice Mbendera SC made the revelation on Monday during the opening of a Quality Control Managers’ training being held at the natural resources college in Lilongwe.

“We rely on goodwill of relatives to come during registration and report all persons who passed on. This approach too has not been effective because our cultural beliefs discourage people from mentioning the dead,” he said.

Justice Mbendera: MEC to clear out voter's roll
Justice Mbendera: MEC to clear out voter’s roll

The MEC Chief also said the Commission was not happy with the continued recurrence during elections of systemic errors on the voters’ roll.

“During the past elections we had cases where people who registered and had a valid voter ID found their names missing on the voting day, names bearing wrong pictures, names having wrong sex, names being found in wrong centres and even spelling errors.

“These challenges have dogged us in the past.  Let me state here that these problems originated at data capture. We would like, therefore, you QCMs to nip these issues in the bud, hence your being recruited and the provision of this training,” Mbendera said.

He then warned warn the QCMs against complacent noting that this is a common challenge when people do monotonous work.

“But take this as a special case. I should urge you to be vigilant and pedantic in your work. We do not build a credible register in one day but it’s a collection of your articulate attention paid to each and every registration form administered by your team,” the MEC Chief said.

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