Malawi: Likoma Embraces ICT in Voter Registration Campaign

Likoma — National Civic Education (NICE) Trust has embraced information and communication technology (ICT) as a radical way of getting to eligible voters with voter registration awareness messages in the run up to 2019 tripartite elections.

The development comes after a realization that most voters who are youths are more likely to have access to internet via their phones and can spread the same to their peers.

"This time around we have decided to go beyond the conventional methods of village meetings, churches and rallies.

"We realize most youths, who constitute a larger percentage of voters, spend most of their time on social platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook," said NICE Trust's Civic Education Officer for Likoma, Patrick Jonathan Chikoti.

Chikoti explained that the idea is to make sure that each and every Malawian of the voting age is reached with voter registration messages.

"We have Islanders Facebook and WhatApp groups, among others, where we periodically post elections related messages," he said.

Voter registration messages are also put on water utility bills by the sole water supply body on the island, Likoma Water Users Association.

"We are also taking advantage of the MV Ilala sailing days where hundreds of people come to either board or to escort their relations and guests. We announce registration awareness messages to the gathering," Chikoti said.

Voter registration in Likoma will start on October 27 and finish on November 9, 2018.

Likoma has a projected population of 16700 and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has projected the registration at 7237.

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