Steps Towards 2019: Where do I register as a voter?

The fourth phase of voter registration is currently in progress in Blantyre City, Blantyre district, Ntcheu, Chikwawa and Mwanza councils. Voter registration in this phase will end on August 29, 2018.

Voter registration

We continue looking at voter registration and today we focus on how to identify a centre where one qualifies to register.
The electoral laws allow a person to register where they were born, where they work or carryout business, and where they live. Where one qualifies to register in more than one centre, they are supposed to choose one place where to register. Registering more than once is an offence and if caught the long arm of the law shall take its force.
The question now is how does one identify the nearest centre to register? Voter registration is being conducted in registration centres which were used during the May 2014 Tripartite Elections. Except in few cases, most of the centres are primary schools which should be easier to identify. But in cases where someone is new to the area, the simplest is to ask those who have already registered or the traditional, faith and religious leaders. These have always participated in MEC activities and they know the registration centres.
Registrants should register at the nearest centre within their ward. This provides an opportunity for a person to vote for a councilor who will serve their interests. There are cases whereby the nearest centre to a person falls outside the constituency or ward map. The chances and temptations are very high just to go and register at the nearest centre though it is outside the ward or constituency. A person votes at a centre where they registered. If you register at a centre outside your constituency it means you will vote for candidates outside your constituency who will not serve you. The same applies for voting for a councillor at a centre outside your ward. Therefore, be mindful of ward and constituency boundaries when identifying a centre where to register.
A question may also arise; where do those who have moved from the places where they registered with the National Registration Bureau (NRB) qualify to register? It should be borne in mind that no one is compelled to register for vote at the same centre where they registered for the national registration card. The national ID is only required to identify a person as a bonafide person to register as a voter. It will not be used on the polling day.
As a reminder, those eligible to register are those who are 18 and above or those that will turn 18 on the last day of voter registration in the country which is November 9, 2018. In other words, the Commission will register only those that were born on or before November 9, 2000.
The remaining phases of the voter registration exercise are as follows:
·       Phase 5: 2 – 15 September 2018: The councils are Balaka, Neno, Thyolo, Luchenza Municipal, Phalombe and Mulanje.
·       Phase 6: 19 September – 2 October 2018: The councils are Mangochi, Mangochi Town, Zomba District, Zomba City and Nsanje.
·       Phase 7: 8 October – 21 October 2018: The councils are Chitipa Karonga, Rumphi, Machinga and Chiradzulu.
·       Phase 8; 27 October to 9 November 2018The councils are NKhata Bay, Likoma, Mzuzu City and Mzimba.
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