Over 2.5 million eligible voters registered in first three phases – MEC

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has so far registered a total of 2,686,903 voters in the completed three phases of the voter registration exercise.

Justice Ansah: Figures are bound to vary

MEC’s Chairperson, Justice Jane Ansah told a news conference on Friday in Blantyre that the total registrants represent 81 percent of the projected 3,304,492 voters for 2018.

“Out of the total registered, 1,424,025 are women representing 53 percent and 1,262,371 are men representing 47 percent,” explained Ansah.

However, the MEC chairperson hinted that Kasungu so far has the lowest turnout percentage of 74 percent against 2018 projections while Nkhotakota is the highest with 88 percent.

Ansah mentioned that the registered figures are bound to vary for every centre during the building of the voters register after duplications will be removed.

“Let me, therefore, encourage stakeholders to exercise caution with the preliminary figures that we have released. After removing duplications, there are bound to be variations. Also remember that during voter verification, people are allowed to transfer which means in some centers the figures may go down while in others may go up,” said Ansah.

She then clarified on reduction on turnout which she said people in the past were registering in part just to get the voter certificate and use it for social services, saying in 2014 only 70 percent of people who registered turned up for polling.

“The coming in of the National IDs by the National Registration Bureau may be the reason for those that need identification for social services not to register and chances are, those that have registered are likely to vote,” added Ansah.

She said to ensure total inclusiveness, prisoners are being captured on the voters register through the satellite centers in their located areas.

For Malawians in the Diaspora, the chairperson indicated that the law does not permit external voting so those interested to participate must come to register and vote in Malawi.

MEC is currently registering eligible voters in readiness for 2019 tripartite elections in a nine phased exercise which is running from 26 June to 9th November, 2018.

The registration exercise is in its fourth phase which is comprises Mwanza, Ntcheu, Chikwawa and Blantyre.

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