As part of the country’s public sector reforms, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has disclosed that it will use the Electronic Biometric Voter Registration (EBVR) for the 2019 elections.
Speaking when she appeared before Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Service Reforms in Lilongwe on Tuesday, MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah said the electoral body is to dump the Optical Mark Registration (OMR) arguing it has many challenges.
Ansah added that the new system – which was part of a recommendation of a study by an international firm called Africore – is to help in eliminating challenges that were faced in 2014 tripartite elections.
“MEC is optimistic that EBVR will work for 2019 elections and that challenges faced in 2014 are to be eliminated,” said Ansah.
She added that the body is to work together with National Registration Bureau (NRB) to have the data as a way of cutting its costs for the new system.
Meanwhile, MEC is yet to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with NRB for the implementation of the system.
While some quarters have been calling for the new system, others argued that the biometric registration will have more challenges if implemented late.
United Democratic Front (UDF) general secretary Ken Ndanga disclosed earlier on in an interview with Malawi24 in Blantyre at Victoria Hotel that there is need for awareness on the system to curb challenges.
Biometric registration involves collecting biometric data such as fingerprints and facial scans of individuals for the purpose of identification.