Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Chifundo Kachale says the commission will conduct research to inform the corrective actions to be undertaken by the commission to reduce the percentage of null and void votes.
He made the remarks this morning when the Commission delivered ballot papers and other materials used in the March 30 by-election to Malawi Parliament.
Kachale said the ballot papers will form a critical element to understand the prevalent types of null and void votes.
“On this matter I should be quick to mention that our null and void votes percentage rates have always been below the international standard of 3.5 percent, we still feel we can take steps to reduce them further than this,” he said.
On the handover of the polling records, Kachale said it is an important event because it emphasizes the Commission’s commitment in conducting a free, fair, transparent and credible elections that can only be achieved by following all the laws and procedures governing the conduct of Elections in Malawi.
“The Commission understands that a free and fair election is not possible without satisfying all legal procedures and requirements even after election results declaration,” he said.
On his part, Deputy Clerk of Parliament (Corporate Services) Mr. Chikondi Kachinjika assured MEC that Parliament will safely and securely keep the documents for the legally stipulated period until Parliament invites MEC to come and witness their destruction.
The Commission is required by Section 119 of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act no. 31 of 1993 to deposit all documents forming the official record of an election with the Clerk of Parliament for preservation.
The records deposited today include voter registers, ballot papers, records from council areas and polling stations and summaries thereof and the record and summary of the result. The March 30 by-elections were conducted in seven constituencies.