ECN to finalise provisional voters’ roll soon

WINDHOEK: The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) says it has successfully conducted the third General Registration of Voters (GRV), which ended on 02 March 2014.

The commission registered 1 162 366 eligible voters during the GRV process.

Announcing the provisional statistics during a media conference in the capital on Friday, Notemba Tjipueja said the figure included 3 441 people registered at foreign missions, as well as 1 747 people who registered more than once.

The commission is now set to finalise the provisional voters’ roll and release it for public scrutiny and objections in early April.

“This was the first time in the history of the country that we used a biometric voter registration system, which by its very nature is a precise and therefore elaborate process,” she noted.

She explained that the ECN already acknowledged that the process initially started at a slow pace at some registration venues during the first week, adding that teething problems observed at the start of the GRV process were not totally unexpected considering the magnitude of the exercise and the roll-out of completely new technology.

“We nevertheless achieved the overall objective of reaching as many eligible voters as possible,” the ECN Chairperson stated.

The commission also noted with concern that the stringent requirements for registration as a voter in local authority area discouraged many eligible voters to register in their respective local authorities.

This included that people had to display proof that they had resided in a particular local authority area for 12 consecutive months.

She said the ECN hopes the ongoing electoral law review process will consider appropriate registration requirements for local authorities.

Tjipueja further indicated that the commission also faced serious problems during the GRV process with transport, especially at the beginning of the registration process.

“The ECN could not secure the required number of vehicles in order to successfully conduct the GRV process. As a result, some registration teams, especially in the urban centres, had to resort to sharing vehicles,” she stressed.

She then indicated that holders of cards with spelling mistakes and factual errors will have the opportunity to have this rectified during the supplementary registration of voters before the forthcoming Presidential and National Assembly (NA) elections, which take place in November.

Meanwhile, Tjipueja said young people in the country really came on board as the percentage of youths registered stood at 44 per cent.