With less than a week to go before polling starts in Mzimba, the Malawi Electoral Commission says it is committed to delivering a free, fair and credible by-election in both constituencies.
“The Commission has endeavored to involve the stakeholders throughout the process. This is why we are all gathered here to witness this ballot printing process. As a Commission, this is not the first time we have done this. In most of the by-elections we do print the ballot papers in-house,” MEC Chairperson Justice Dr. Anastasia Msosa, SC said.
Msosa said this at MEC headquarters in Blantyre on Monday during the start of printing of ballot papers for Mzimba Central and Mzimba South West constituencies’ by elections.
MEC officials, Parties and independent candidates’ representatives will witness the printing process.
The total number of ballot papers to be printed for Mzimba Central constituency is 43, 900, translating to 439 books of ballot papers. But the constituency has 41, 740 registered voters.
While the total number of ballot papers to be printed for Mzimba South West constituency is 36, 700 ballot papers, translating to 367 books of ballot papers against 34, 816 registered voters.
Msosa pointed out that the number of ballot papers to be printed has been determined by the final figures of registered voters in the respective constituencies.
“However, the number of voters for each centre has been rounded up to the nearest 100 as ballot papers are printed in books of hundred,” she said.
The MEC head also said that after printing, all ballot papers will be stored in a confined and sealed room under heavy security guard until the dispatch day on the 6th October 2012.
In total both constituencies have 62 polling centers comprised of 77 polling streams with 76,556 registered voters. Consequently, the total number of ballot papers to be printed for both constituencies is 80,600 translating to 806 books of ballot papers.