Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said people who registered to vote in the May 21 Tripartite Elections but lost their voter’s certificates will be allowed to vote.
In a statement dated March 12 2019, signed by chief elections officer Sam Alfandika, MEC acknowledges that floods that hit some parts of the country may have led to loss of voter registration certificates and other identity (ID) cards, hence the decision.
MEC further says the floods affected the ongoing ballot paper vetting exercise in Mwanza, Chikwawa and Nsanje as candidates failed to travel to the council offices.
The electoral body has since rescheduled dates for the vetting exercise in affected councils.
Reads the statement in part: “Considering that the floods have displaced many people and damaged household items, it is certain that some people have lost their voter certificates during the disaster.
The commission would like to assure all of them that they will be able to vote without a voter certificate as long as they registered.”
In an interview yesterday, Alfandika said voters that have lost their voter’s certificate, in areas affected by floods, will be allowed to vote without any ID, while those that lost their voters in other ways will be allowed to vote only if they bring another ID such as the national ID, driver’s licence or passport, among others.
Alfandika said: “We have the voter register which we will use to identify voters who have lost their voters certificate and our system is now more advanced. It will simplify the identification exercise.”
He said MEC will also provide tents for shelter during voting in centres where infrastructures designated as voting centres have been damaged.
In a related development the commission has warned chiefs against endorsing their preferred candidates and wooing people to vote for them, saying the conduct is unacceptable and unlawful.