The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has disclosed that it will not use the biometric voter registration in the 2019 general elections if the office of National Registration Bureau (NRB) fails to produce national identity cards for Malawians.
MEC chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera said the office of the NRB has been delaying to issue the ID’s that will help in identifying Malawians during the Biometric registration process.
“If at the office of National Registration Bureau things are not showing then we will have the normal registration we used to have in the past because we can’t postpone elections, we will have the elections at the date that is already known to people in the year 2019,” said Mbendera.
Earlier, some stakeholders warned MEC against implementing the biometric registration close to 2019 general elections arguing that the system cannot be effective if Malawians lack knowledge on how it works.
The international community also argued that the biometric system is complex therefore there should be civic education for the general public to avoid confusions.
Biometric system is considered to be one of the electoral reforms MEC has adopted to ensure they produce a more accurate and reliable voter register.
Biometric voter registration involves the use of biometric technology in voter registration.
Biometric technology is the use of computers, fingerprint scanners and digital cameras to capture the bio-data of voters. Fingerprints are unique to every individual and it is these unique features and other details that will be stored in the computer from which the voters register is produced.