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Electoral Symposium 2014

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National Voter Education Policy

National Voter Education Policy

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely, the real safeguard of democracies, therefore education” Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1. Background

  • 1st elections in independent Namibia were conducted in 1992
  • Electoral Act, 1992 (Act No. 6 of 1992)
  • Voter turn out in National and Presidential elections are traditionally high since independence.
  • Regional and Local Authorities being lower
  • 1992 voter education was conducted by the ECN complemented by NGOs.
  • Similar approaches were followed prior to the National and Presidential elections in 1994 and 1999 and Regional and Local Authorities in 1998.
  • In 2004, National Assembly, Presidential, Regional and Local Authorities elections voter education efforts in the run up to these elections were formalized through an Election Support Consortium (ESC)
  • The ESC unfortunately did not survive long due to the unavailability of funding.
  • Leaving mainly the ECN to conduct voter education especially prior to the 2009 National Assembly and Presidential and the 2010 Regional and Local Authorities elections.
  • For any election to be successful and democratic, voters must understand their rights, responsibilities, sufficiently knowledgeable, well informed and participate meaning full in the entire electoral process.
  • Electoral Amendment Act, No.7 of 2009, empowered the ECN to accredit voter educators. Stakeholders consultations
  • Stakeholders consultations

Policy and Objectives

  • To ensure that eligible citizens know how to participate in electoral process in Namibia
  • To enhance the capacity of partners to jointly with the ECN, respond to voter education needs in an effective and sustainable manner and
  • To standardise voter education messages
  • To ensure that the electorate is universally informed
  • To regulate voter education partners to ensure adherence to qualitative standards.

Current Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Voter education is legally one of the duties and functions of the ECN Section 49 of the Electoral Act, 2014 (Act No.5 of 2014
  • Provides that the Commission shall in particular supervise, direct, control and promote voter education in respect of elections
  • By the ECN or by way of accrediting persons or organisations (other than registered political party)
  • Section 51 (1) of the Electoral Act of 2014, subject to section 54, provides for the accreditation of any natural or juristic person to provide voter and civic education.
  • In the interest of deepening democracy, enhancing participation and encouraging informed choice, the civic and voter education should be given priority in the SADC region.

Implementation Strategies

  • Factors: social, cultural and economy must be taken into account when educating the electorate on electoral matters
  • Ethnic composition of the country: language, values, beliefs, norms and level of education in the different population group
  • Engage CSOs working with persons with disabilities to conduct disability relevant voter education programs.

Principles underlying the policy

  • Accreditation of persons providing voter education, section 51 of the Electoral Act
  • Codes governing persons accredited
  • Contravention of or failures to comply with conditions of accreditations or code.
  • Voter education by political parties.

Accrediation Regulatory Framework

  • Application for accreditation to provide voter education
  • Certificate of accreditation
  • Breach of conditions or code

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Monitored monthly
  • Evaluated annually
  • Logical Framework Matrix

Regular Review

An educated voter is our democracy’s best citizen

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