By Sicelo Maziya | 2018-05-12
The Elections and Boundaries Commissions has finally announced the start of the voter registration process for this year’s parliamentary elections.
EBC Chairperson Chief Gija Dlamini announced yesterday at their offices that national registration starts tomorrow to June 17, registration starts at 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
He encouraged the nation to take advantage and register early to avoid late registration. Chief Gija said where it was safe and a number of people were still registering they would extend the registration time but not beyond 9:00 pm. He said; “it has pleased Their Majesties to announce the registration dates of the 2018 parliament and national government election.
This marks the start of the entire national elections process”. The chairperson disclosed that the announcement followed a series of pre-election activities that had been successfully undertaken in the last four years. The chairperson said these included the civic voter education exercise, the review of Tinkhundla boundaries, review of elections laws, procedures and numerous consultations with non-governmental organisations, religious groups, traditional institutions, the youth and the private sector.
Chief Gija said the reports of the various assignments informed a number of changes in the conduct of the 2018 national elections. He said the report also included an increase in the number of Tinkhundla from the original 55 to the presently 59, re-alignment of polling divisions, establishment of registration centres, and a review of the opening and closing time for registration.
EBC introduces new election management system
The Commission has announced that in a bid to improve this year’s registration exercise, it has introduced a new election management system.
Chief Gija said this new system interfaced with the personal identity numbers system (PIN), making registration faster for those who will bring their IDs.
He further encouraged the nation to bring their IDs for registration for quick and easy registration.
He also said other recognised forms of identity include drivers licence, birth certificate and passport. He said the latter would only be used at their local umphakatsi registration centres. Chief Gija also encouraged even those without the identification papers that they were welcome to register with the assistance of umsumphe from their umphakatsi.
Ncumbi Maziya, one of the commissioners, also disclosed that the system would be dispatched to populated areas and at workplaces for convenience.
He said the system would only be used with the ID at such places.
He further disclosed that they would be working tirelessly to ensure registration is brought closer to the people.
System will gather data for analyses
Eric Kunene disclosed that the system would also run an analyses survey on different data that will help during the voting period.
Kunene said the system at registration would be able to get information for people living with disability, number of females against the males, youth and number of people from the diaspora.
Swazi company provides custom made system for elections
Slomoes Corporations and IT system, a Swazi company, would be responsible for the national elections.
Commissioner Maziya said the company was a local one and all systems had been tested and would be dispatched to all polling stations before tomorrow.
Journalists also wanted to know the safety of the system where the system administrator Eric Kunene assured the nation of its safety.
Kunene also took journalists through the system on how it will work until to the central server.
Kunene assured journalists of minimal risks on the systems exploitation and protection of the information.
He said they had tried all possible means to avoid any hacking possibility as they had requested a single line for transmitting data from all polling stations.
Commissioner Maziya assured journalists that the procurement process of the equipment and systems had also included the police throughout. He said the commission was very careful on the issue of manipulation and the new system was a step forward as it combined the ID and biometric system for verification.
The new election system also sends an SMS immediately to the person once registration has been successful at the registration centre.
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