Preliminary Report on the Malawian Parliamentary and Presidential election
On a positive note:
There was an attempt at ensuring that one person gets one vote.
Areas of concern:
Malawi uses an incremental registration system in terms of which new registrants are added onto the last voter's roll. The country on the other hand does not have a registration system for births, deaths and marriages. There have been a host of problems which we have noted In this respect since the data on deaths for instance is captured only if there is somebody that will report such to the registering officials. On the other hand people's particulars could change for instance because of marriage. The problems around registration have further been compounded by the Introduction of a computerized voters' roll which unfortunately captured the information that was fed to it even if that information was erroneous. The registration process was itself marred by shortages of registration materials resulting in people being turned away. There were attempts to clean up to the voter's roll which in other cases produced more confusion. Infact most returning officers were critical of the clean up process. Up until the election day there were still cases of people who were missing altogether from the voters' roll yet they registered and were issued with a registration certificate. We also noted that there were people whose registration details were affixed to the wrong face or have their pictures missing altogether. The major problem we have noted however is that of transfer voters who in some districts are missing altogether from the voter's roll yet they were Issued with registration certificates. The result of these problems was that some voters could have been disenfranchised.
There is a general need to create a system of registering births, deaths and marriages in the country. This would form the ideal background for data that will be useful in the creation of national identity system. This would subsequently be used in registering voters for every election with the right data being captured.
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