As announced by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), earlier today (October 29, 2015):
Tanzania’s Biometric Voter Registration process is now proceeding at full pace. It had previously been delayed for several months while waiting for voter registration kits, which meant it was impossible to conduct the constitutional referendum as scheduled at the end of April (as predicted here). Now, there are concerns that the process is happening too fast, not giving people enough time for everyone to register:
“The machines are just too few,” complained one resident of Geita. “This situation will cause more chaos because there are very many people remaining yet there are only two days left.” And according to the Daily News, people in Arusha “have now resorted to spending nights at the registration centres in order to beat the jam”.
This led me to think: what proportion of the voting age population needs to be registered in order for an election to be considered legitimate? Continue reading
UPDATED 12/5/15 – See below
The job of an MP is to represent their constituents. But how many voters do they have to represent?
If there’s a big difference between the number of voters represented by different MPs, it can be unfair on MPs who have to represent a larger number of people. More importantly, it can be unfair on the voters. Those who live in constituencies with a smaller population would potentially have more influence over their MP – and therefore over the government as a whole. Those in constituencies with more voters would find it harder to make their voice heard. Continue reading
The cartoon above highlights that we are rapidly running out of time for the official education process. But the bigger obstacle seems likely to be the voter registration process. Is there still enough time for Tanzania’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) to complete biometric voter registration by April 30, 2015?
Using some figures shared by NEC and quoted in the media, I have done some rough calculations. It’s not possible to be precise, and there are several assumptions involved, so I cannot give a firm conclusion. But I think it gives a useful indication of the challenge.
So, on the back of an envelope …