Monday, April 21, 2014

Mobile, Web Voter Verification Up and Running

BLANTYRE – 21 April, 2014

In a historical and electoral first for Malawi, prospective voters in the country are now able to verify their voter registration status using mobile phones. A web platform has also been created for the same purpose.

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.

The MalawiElectoral Commission (MEC) in conjunction with the Malawi Election InformationCentre (MEIC) is rolling out this service, with technical assistance coming from SMAG Media UK, Ltd. and Code For Africa.

Registered voters in Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Mulanje, Nkhotakota, Salima and all districts in the Northern Region of Malawi will be the first to have access to the mobile verification platform when the second phase of voter verification commences today.

To verify your voter registration status, one must send an SMS with their voter identification number 5VOTE (58683). This SMS is FREE of charge on both Airtel and TNM networks.

To receive voter registration details in ChiChewa, for example, a registered voter will have to type CHE123456789 (CHE for ChiChewa + the voter’s nine digit ID Number) and send an SMS to 58683.

To receive voter registration details in ChiTumbuka, for example, a registered voter will have to type TUM123456789 (TUM for ChiTumbuka + the voter’s nine digit ID Number) and send an SMS to 58683.

To receive voter registration details in English, for example, a registered voter will have to type only their voter ID (example: 123456789) and send an SMS to 58683.

To verify your voter registration status online, one has to go to and follow the instructions outlined.

Registered voters are able to verify their details up to three times. Those who find inconsistencies against their voter records are advised to contact their nearest MEC office for assistance as no corrections or queries regarding voter information will be accepted by the system.

Mobile and web verification is only available to registered voters belonging to constituencies where MEC will be conducting voter verification exercises ahead of the polls.

About MEC:

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is an independent, constitutionally-mandated and impartial institution, that works to professionally deliver credible, transparent, inclusive, efficient and cost-effective elections in order to promote and entrench democratic values and peace in Malawi.

About MEIC:

MEIC is a coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) led by the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) with common interests to collaborate on activities related to the 2014 Malawi Tripartite Elections, namely:

1) To support the Malawi Electoral Commission to manage the elections process to ensure its credibility and that the process is free, fair, and reflects the will of Malawians.

2) Provide the voter population with credible evidence-based information gathered by Observers on a real-time basis and send via a dedicated SMS service as events unfold on Election Day that will be used by experts to analyse existing situations at Polling Streams to keep the people informed and prevent rumour mongering that may result in violent behaviour – pre and post-election day.

3) To provide rapid response in elections emergency situations (i.e. informing MEC and the Police) that might affect the credibility of the electoral process.

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