Malawi rolls out voter registration for 2019 polls: Equipment malfunction mars day 1

Pollster, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Tuesday launched the first phase of voter registration exercise for for the 2019 Tripartite Elections .

MEC Chair Jane Ansah: Urgers Malawians to register to vote in the May 2019 Tripartite Elections

MEC chairlady Jane Ansah officially launched the exercise in Kasungu and urged u all eligible voters, including those who will turn 18 on the last date of registration in November, to register to vote next year.

“You can only vote if you register,” said Ansah.

She said the biometric registration was the most effective ever, saying registration only takes a minimum of just two minutes.

The exercise, which targets nine million people, is expected to be carried out in eight phases and the second phase is scheduled to run from July 13 to 26 and the first phase include Kasungu, Dedza and Salina.

In Kasungu, some centres had not yet opened by mid day and MEC officials said they were rushing there to find the problems.

In Dedza, officials reported of faulty malfunctioning equipment in some of the 177 centres.

But the District Commissioner Elsie Tembo said a team of IT experts had already been dispatched to rectify the problems.

In Salima, the registration exercise was marred by low turn up as at one centre just 15 people had registered as st noon.

The registration exercise in the three districts is to last for 14 days before the registration moves into another phase.

Speaking on Sunday at Kagwa Woyera Parish in Lilongwe, Vice-President Saulos Chilima asked Malawians to turn out in large numbers to register to vote in the May 2019 Tripartite Elections as the voter registration exercise starts.

The electoral body is using  biometric voter registration [BVR] kit operators to register voters this year. In past elections, the commission used optical mark recognition (OMR) technology, a paper-based system, to register voters.

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