All eligible Namibians required to register to vote: Nghikembua

WINDHOEK: All eligible Namibian voters will have to register to vote once the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) starts with the general registration of voters in June 2024.

This is according to ECN chairperson Elsie Nghikembua, who said on Thursday that the current voter cards have reached their life cycle.

‘The year 2024 marks the end of the life cycle of the current national voters’ register. Hence, the upcoming elections will be preceded by a general registration of voters, during which all eligible Namibian citizens will be expected to register afresh to cast their votes in the forthcoming elections,’ Nghikembua said during the launch of the ECN electoral calendar and democracy awareness campaign.

As per the Electoral Act of 2014, as amended, she said the ECN is required to conduct the general registration of voters every 10 years and compile a new voter register.

‘The last general registration of voters was conducted in 2014, when the commission deployed a biometric voter registration system for
the first time,’ she said.

The general registration of voters will be conducted both inside the country and at all Namibian diplomatic missions, as required by law.

Nghikembua said the general voter registration process that will start from 03 June to August 2024 will be conducted under the current Electoral Act, No. 5 of 2014.

In preparation for the registration of voters and the national elections, ECN conducted a comprehensive electoral review of the previous elections, which culminated in the Integrated Mobile Voter Registration System.

‘The Integrated Mobile Voter Registration System leverages technology to make voter registration more responsive and efficient, marking a significant milestone in our efforts to modernise and improve our electoral processes. The system incorporates advanced security and verification measures to ensure the integrity of the electoral processes,’ she said.

Nghikembua noted that the system was piloted in November 2023 and February 2024 through a mock registration process
to ascertain its functionality and readiness.

‘I am pleased to inform you that the system meets all the requirements to carry out the registration of voters and subsequent electoral processes,’ she said.

Meanwhile, the ECN chairperson revealed that the electoral body will use manual ballot voting methods during this year’s elections and for the regional and local authority elections in 2025.

The ECN has set 27 November as the day for the national elections.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency