No voter registration extension necessary - ECN

22 September 2020 | Local News

Erwin Leuschner

SWAKOPMUND



The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has admitted there were several challenges with the recently completed supplementary voter registration process, mainly due to the biometric voter registration kits (BVRKs).

According to a statement, around 188 000 voters across the country had registered by 15 September.

“Given the number of registered voters and the number of new voters, it is the ECN's view that the completed registration has served its purpose and has generally been a nationwide success. No further extension of the registration is therefore necessary,” the ECN said.

This was confirmed by the speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, last week.



'Why so slow?'

Katjavivi read the ECN statement after Jennifer van den Heever of the Popular Democratic Movement asked why the registration process had been so slow. Supplementary voter registration took place from 7 to 15 September countrywide.

According to the ECN, the BVRKs had been purchased in 2013 and have been used since then.

“[But], as is of the case with computing devices, this technology is basically out of date and beyond its lifespan.”

Moreover, the entire national electoral roll had been uploaded to each device to issue duplicate cards, if needed. This slowed the process further.

“It is true that the registration process moved at a snail's pace. In all of these cases, IT experts were used to solve the problem,” the ECN said.

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