The chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Namibia, Advocate Notemba Tjipueja, says the electoral authority will ensure that special arrangements will be considered to allow people to vote beyond polling places, like those under quarantine and in health facilities who have tested positive for Covid-19.
She made these remarks in Windhoek last week when ECN launched the 2020 regional council and local authority elections voter and civic education programme.
Tjipueja said it is important to note this will only be possible for such people to vote as long as they are still within their local authority or constituency where they have registered.
She added that the commission is under no illusion that conducting elections under the present circumstances would be an easy task.
“We, however, believe that this country can hold successful elections if everyone complies with the relevant regulations and requisite health precautions and if all electoral stakeholders play their role to ensure the safety of all involved,” she said.
Tjipueja also mentioned the importance of adhering to Covid-19 measures as one of the most imperative messages they will be disseminating during the voter and civic education campaign.
“This is the first time in our history as a nation that national elections are being held during a public health crisis. I must thus state that the Covid-19 strategy adopted by the ECN is not cast in stone and will be continually adjusted as circumstances dictate.”
The youth are registering but not voting
CEO of the ECN, Theo Mujoro, said the national voters register currently stands at 1 358 468 of whom 52% are youth. He said the disparity in youth participation in terms of registration and polling is widening.
“A significant number of youth would register as voters, but this figure does not translate into votes on polling day. The ECN has recruited 98 young people as youth ambassadors for four months to support voter education and advocacy targeted at young voters.”
Mujoro added that voter and civic education programmes are intended to encourage young people to register as voters with the view to increase participation and further raise awareness on the inclusion of special focus groups such as women, people with disabilities, the youth and marginalised communities and that they can participate in elections without unfair barriers, which is a core component of delivering an inclusive election.
The ECN will be providing voter and civic education in all 14 regions through face-to-face voter education sessions which commenced on 20 July and is expected to run until 15 September and again from 1 October to 24 November 2020 in preparation of polling.
2020-08-11 08:59:50 | 1 months ago