As Malawi prepares for 2014 tripartite elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it will register all voters and prospective voters anew following the adoption of an electronic biometric voter registration system.

“…following wide and extensive consultations with various stakeholders on voter registration solution, MEC has resolved to adopt the use of the electronic biometric voter registration system,” Chief Elections Officer Willie Kalonga said in statement.

Malawi has 3.5 million registered voters.

“Following this new development, the upcoming registration exercise will result in the compilation of an entirely new voters’ register that will replace the existing one and all voters’ ID cards,” Kalonga said.

A biometric voter registration involves the use of biometric technologies with the use of computers, fingerprint scanners and digital cameras to capture data of applications.

Kalonga said biometric technology will make the detection and removal of multiple registrations from the system resulting in the production of a more accurate and reliable register for all elections.

He faulted the old method saying it did not have the inbuilt mechanism for accurate capturing of finger prints which he said resulted in unscrupulous individuals registering more than once.

“Finger prints are unique to every individual and it is these unique features and other details that are stored in the computer from which the voters’ register is produced,” the Chief Elections Officer said.

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