KEETMANSHOOP – Close to 300 eligible voters were still queuing at various registration points in the //Kharas region after the supplementary registration of voters ended at 19h00 on Tuesday evening.
The exercise, which started last week Monday, also saw Namibians from all walks of life turning up in large numbers in other parts of the country to be listed as voters for the upcoming regional council and local authority elections.
Some eligible voters in Windhoek claimed on social media that they only managed to register in the early hours of yesterday after spending considerable hours in queues at various registration points.
In the south, //Kharas regional coordinator of the Electoral Commission of Namibia Augustinus Ucham said there has been a habit of registering at the eleventh hour.
He then raised the concern that this creates unnecessary pressure on both ECN officials and equipment.
“If lines are long, it results in the printing of more voter registration cards. This means voter registration kits and printers will operate on a slower pace due to increased pressure on it,’’ he said. He added officials could only register the last person beyond 02h00 on the last day due to this.
Ucham added 10 350 eligible voters exercised their right to participatory democracy during the process with the highest number in Keetmanshoop
Urban constituency, where 2 797 registered, while Karasburg West, with 923, recorded the lowest number of registrations. He continued the youth population, especially those who turned 18 years old recently, were the biggest group of eligible voters, who registered for the elections, slated for 27 November.
In terms of challenges experienced during the exercise, he said the public did not really give any problems to officials and apart from minor hiccups caused by technological challenges such as voter registration kits and printers at times not operating optimally, the process, in general, went smoothly.
“Come future registration or election processes, people should not wait till the last hour before turning up in order to avoid unnecessary long queues, delays and frustrations,’’ Ucham pleaded with residents.
He, however, commended them for turning up with all the required documents and their good attitude and behaviour at registration points.
“They should, furthermore, demonstrate the same eagerness during the upcoming elections,’’ he urged.