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.

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

POLICY 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 andfunctions of the ECN
  • Section 49 of the Electoral Act, 2014 (Act No.5 of 2014
  • Provides that the Commission shall in particularsupervise, direct, control and promote voter educationin respect of elections
  • By the ECN or by way of accrediting persons ororganisations (other than registered political party)
  • Section 51 (1) of the Electoral Act of 2014, subject tosection 54, provides for the accreditation of anynatural or juristic person to provide voter and civic
  • In the interest of deepening democracy, enhancing participation and encouraging informed choice, thecivic 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.

ACCREDITATION 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

THANK YOU
An educated voter is our democracy’s best citizen.