As we prepare for the 2019 Tripartite Elections, the Commission is intensifying its preparations for voter registration which is expected to commence in the first half of this year.
Registration of voters will be easy and faster for those with national IDs as it will just involve establishing if the holder is the right owner of the card and then scanning the card on the registration machine to capture the details of the registrant.
As explained before, the MEC will conduct voter registration despite the national citizen registration carried out by the National Registration Bureau (NRB).
The Commission will conduct voter registration so that it has actual figures of all people expected to vote in 2019 and where they will vote. This helps in logistical planning like how many ballot papers to print, staff to employ and deploy, and to easily determine quantities of all other materials and equipment that will be needed.
For 2019, MEC will ride on the biometric registration done by NRB to produce quality voters’ register which eliminates challenges that have been faced in the past like misspelled names, multiple registrations and misplaced photos among others.
The NRB is currently conducting distribution of the IDs to those registered during the mass registration exercise. At the same time NRB is conducting continuous registration at district council offices to carter for those who were unable to register during the mass registration exercise. Other registration centres for national ID will be Post Offices and NRB will shortly announce exact dates when registration will commence in these centres.
Considering the crucial role of the national ID during the registration of voters the Commission wishes to encourage all those that have received their national IDs to keep them safely. Here are some tips:
· Keep the ID at a secure place where it cannot be reached easily by children who can end up misplacing or destroying it.
· Do not move around with the national ID unless there is need to do so. Moving around with the national ID increases the chances of losing it to pickpockets or robbers.
· Do not allow anyone to snatch or forcibly keep your national ID against your wish. It is a punishable offence under the National Registration act to dispossess anyone of their National ID. Your ID is your property and it is your sole responsibility to keep it safe. Report to the nearest police station if you here any reports of any malpractice regarding snatching or buying of national IDs. A national ID is a precious document a citizen should possess as such it should not be given value of any amount of money or material.
· It is a good practice to memorise your ID number or write it down somewhere where you can easily go and refer to in case need arises.
· Avoid putting the national ID in pockets or places where it can be exposed to abrasion with other essentials that may damage the card reducing its life span.
· Report to the nearest police as soon as possible when your national ID is lost or stolen.