Malawi biometric voter registry put on hold

The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) says it has shelved plans regarding the implementation of the biometric voter registration system, saying it will, for the purposes of the 2014 tripartite elections, use the current paper-based solution of capturing voters in the field.

Chief elections officer, Willy Kalonga, said in a news statement made available to Nyasa Times that the electronic voter registration system would be used in the 2019 elections.

“The Commission has taken into consideration the various concerns, risks and logistical challenges that are inherent in the implementation of the system and has resolved that the implementation of the Biometric Voter Registration System be used in the 2019 elections.,” said MEC in a statement.

“Prior to that, the Commission will conduct comprehensive field tests and civic education programmes on the solution.”

Kalonga: Electronic registry put on hold
Kalonga: Electronic registry put on hold

The postponement of the implementation of the electronic system comes after the commission had already conducted tours to some countries where the system was used such as Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Tanzania and Namibia.

Biometric verification and enrollment systems are increasingly being turned to for establishing a voter registry, and in particular, in Africa, these systems are becoming quite common. Despite their growing adoption, recent elections in the continent have proven arduous and controversial with the new technology.

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