Thanks to technology, Malawians will now be able to verify their vote registration status through web and mobile phone platform. Malawi will be going to the ballot box for the Tripartite polls on May 20, 2014.
As explained by Levi Kabwato, the Malawi Election Information Centre (MEIC) Project Manager tasked with Media and Publicity responsibility was quoted saying, “Registered voters in the upcoming Tripartite elections scheduled for 20 May, 2014 can now send a FREE short-message-service (SMS) to a designated short-code and instantly receive details of where they are registered to vote”. This service has been made possible through a partnership between MEIC, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Code for Africa and SMAG Media UK, Ltd.
This service will be rolled out in phases, with the first phase being available for voters in Mulanje, Balaka, Salima, Mangochi, Machinga, Nkhotakota and all the districts within North Malawi. The Director of Media and Public Relations for MEC, Sangwani Mwafulirwa explained that for voters to verify their registration status, the voter has to send an SMS having their identification number to 58683 (5VOTE). This service will be FREE of charge on TNM and Airtel, Malawi’s only two telcos. Voters also have the option of receiving their voters registration details in the following languages:
- ChiTumbuka: The voter should type TUM123456789 (TUM for the ChiTumbuka language + voter’s 9 digit ID number) and send the SMS to 58683.
- ChiChewa: The voter should type CHE123456789 (CHE for ChiChewa + voter’s 9 digit ID number) and send the SMS to 58683.
- English: A voter just simply sends their voter ID (e.g. 123456789) to 58683.
For voters who want to use the web platform, the simply visit http://gottovote.malawivote2014.org. The instructions given on the site are pretty straight forward. The service will only allow registered voters to verify their registration only up to three times. In case of any inconsistencies against their records, voters are advised to visit the nearest MEC office for changes, since the virtual verification does not support corrections or queries to be done.
This service will only be available to registered voters in constituencies where MEC will have conducted voter verification exercise ahead of the May 20th, 2014 polls.