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Voter registration on track – ECN

There have been reports on how long it takes for voters to be registered and the quality of the Voter Registration Kit in the media, but the the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) said this week it has dealt swiftly with these setbacks and has resolved all voter registration problems
ECN management has confirmed that the voter registration kits are much more stable in the operating system, since problems with breakages were reported in the first week.
This was mostly due to logistic as all units had to be moved during the distribution phase which encompassed the entire coutnry.
But the Commission said the major challenge it faces is still human error with the input of the data.
ECN management stated that the majority of the complaints that  they get form the public have been based on the technical problems experienced with the kits, which have resulted in the kits being slow. Members of the public have also complained about the lack of registration requirements for Local Authority elections, especially for persons staying in a local authority area but do not have either a municipal, town or village council, water and electricity account, or a telephone account.
ECN management said it hopes that the law reform process will eventually do away with the residency requirements by passing the necessary amendments to the Constitution.
 They encouraged voters to make use of the provision in the existing law, that requires those who are not in possession of water bills to submit sworn statements whereby a registered voter can act as a deponent and can vouch for up to ten applicants. “The ECN is confident that there will be no more hiccups during the rest of the registration because there are weekly software updates done to ensure any problems that may arise are being handled and prevented from recurring.”
The ECN purchased a total of 904 Voter Registration Kits, which cost the Commission around N$70 million.  These kits consist of VRK’s, Printers, Uniterruptable Power Supplies, generators, spare parts, and consumables.  The overall cost covers all hardware, software and technical support for the  registration of voters.
The kits further include laptops, fingerprint scanners, signature pads and cameras.  “The testing of this equipment was done from June to November 2013 and the delimitation data was completed and tested by 21 November 2013 the ECN confirmed.

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