The right to choose

It is extremely important that young people register for the upcoming elections, so that they can air their views in the form of choosing leaders of their choice, said ECN regional coordinator, Augustinus Ucham.

14 September 2020 | Politics

ELIZABETH JOSEPH

KEETMANSHOOP



Youth in //Karas are leading the way in taking advantage of the supplementary voter registration period countrywide, which ends tomorrow.

According to Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) regional coordinator, Augustinus Ucham, the main reason why young people may be flocking to registration points is the impactful voter education campaign they ran from July and which will continue until after the elections.

The aim of this campaign is to inform young people and the nation at large of their rights and the importance of voter registration.

“It is extremely important that young people register for the upcoming elections, so that they can air their views in the form of choosing leaders of their choice,” Ucham said. The supplementary registration period targets newly eligible voters who recently turned 18, individuals who lost their voter cards as well as those who have moved from one constituency to another.



Youth dominance

Last week, queues //Karas were full of young people who shared why they decided to register for the upcoming elections.

Among them was 18-year-old Evaristo Isaak, who said he made the decision to become a voter in order to exercise his right to choose.

“Of course, as with any other young person, my parents had some hand in encouraging me to vote and exercise my democratic right, but I also know that we as young people are the future, and because of that we have to actively be involved in politics, as well as other areas in our societies,” he said. Vernon Hartung said he believes voter apathy is a cancer in any community or country, and the less involved citizens are, the more disenfranchised they become.

“This leads to a disconnect between citizens and leaders, leading to frustration, which can be volatile at best.

“By voting, you involve yourself in the decision-making process of your country, and the principles and ideals you wish to see your country adhere and aspire to,” he said.

Involvement

As part of the ECN's initiative to encourage youth involvement during the upcoming elections, it has also recruited youth ambassadors to serve as a push factor for young Namibians to exercise their democratic right to vote. Altogether, 30 station teams have been positioned in the region in various constituencies and local authorities, both mobile and semi-fixed.

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