THE National Electoral Commission (NEC) will start updating the voter register in Dodoma Region on October 26 to enable residents, including civil servants who have moved to the new capital city, to participate in the general election 2020.
The plan is also to allow young people who will be at least 18 years old, but were not registered during the first biometric voter registration (BVR) commissioned in 2015.
NEC Chairman Judge Semistocles Kaijage told election stakeholders yesterday that the process was a constitutional requirement as well as the National Elections Act of 2015 and its Regulations. "This process was launched in July this year.
Some of the regions that have so far updated their voter registers include Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Manyara, Simiyu, Mwanza, Geita, Mara, Shinyanga, Kagera and Kigoma," he said.
He noted: "The exercise in Dodoma will be commissioned in three phases. The first will focus on Chemba District Council, Kondoa District Council and Kondoa Town Council."
According to NEC, updating the voter register is a crucial stage in the electoral process as it allows NEC to remove from the register all unqualified voters.
It also warrants constitutional rights to those individuals whose voter registration cards are missing or are damaged.
"It allows people with IDs such as missing information or altered details to mend such errors and have straight access to their right to vote," Justice Kaijage noted.
Voter information update comes at a time when NEC has so far reviewed and subsequently added new polling stations in the city from the earlier 2,606 stations recorded in the 2015 general election to 2,686 stations.
NEC noted that some voters had reported to have misplaced their cards and forgetting their crucial information.
Dr Wilson Charles, Director of Elections, said all plans were going well and they expected the same to be done in Songwe and Singida regions. "We will ensure all regions are covered countrywide."
After Dodoma, NEC will go to Tabora, Katavi and Rukwa. Dr Charles explained that registration would take seven days at each station and urged the general public to turn up and help spread the information.
However, he was quick to warn that only citizens were eligible for the exercise and members of the public had a right to block foreigners from taking part in the process.