For 2014 tripartite elections, the number of registered voters per polling stream has been reduced from 1,200 to 800 with an aim of easing vote counting process, the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) said.
The electoral body has also increased the number of polling centres from 3897 to 4,449 in order to bring the elections “closer to the eligible voters”.
Mec Commissioner Reverend Emmanuel Chinkwita-Phiri said if the centre has several thousand registered voters, it can be “cumbersome and delaying” if all of them are to vote in one stream.
“In past elections poll streams were having a maximum of 1200 voters and if the Commission knows the total number of registered voters at each and every centre, this will help determine number of streams to have at that particular centre.
“If a centre has several thousand registered voters, it can be cumbersome and delaying if all of them are to vote in one stream. This can be avoided if the total number of registered voters is known and logistics are put in place to support the optimal number of streams for the centre.
“For the 2014 elections, the Commission has reduced the number of registered voters per stream to 800 with an aim of ensuring that voting ends in good time,” said Chinkwita-Phiri, who is responsible for elections.
He also said this year’s voter registration for the coming elections will be done at ward level and not constituency level as has been the case in the past.
The commissioner further observed that voter registration, expected to roll off onJuly 22 and to done in 10 phases across the country due to inadequate registration equipment, is one of the biggest and most expensive activities in the electoral calendar.