Malawi rolling out national ID project, introducing biometric voter registry for 2019 elections

In an effort to conduct trouble-free elections, the Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) revealed that a biometrics-based voter registry will be used, with data provided by the National Registration Bureau (NRB).

MEC will collaborate with NRB during voter registration to build the electoral roll from the National ID database rather than conducting a biometric voter registration process on its own.

The Nyasa Times reported that MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah said, “We are working with National Registration Bureau. We will use their (National ID) data when they finish with the citizenship registration.”

The NRB is expected to roll out its National ID project in May.

National or Civil ID is a means for tracking citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents for the purposes of work, taxation, government benefits, health care, and other government-related functions. Examples of this could be for the purposes of document issuance, border management, voter registration or employment background checks.

The National ID project will also help eliminate ghost workers from the government payroll by using biometric data to verify employee identities.

Malawi is the last country in southern Africa to implement a National ID solution.

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