Amid preparations for the 2019 Tripartite Elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has advised Malawians who have national identity cards to take care of their IDs since they will be needed for voter registration.
The commission said in a statement that 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.
MEC also added that it 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.
“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,” reads part of the statement.
It is reported that for 2019, MEC will rely 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.
Of other safety tips, the commission told Malawians to keep the ID at a secure place where it cannot be reached easily by children who can end up misplacing or destroying it.
People have also been told to not move around with the national ID unless there is need to do so since moving around with the national ID increases chances of losing it to pickpockets or robbers.