Times of Swailand
20 June 2008
All you need to know about the registration process
Voter registration closes Sunday
MBABANE - It is just three days to go before the Voter Registration closes.
Many people have come up with a number of questions regarding the voting process. We bring you some of these questions and answers to help your voter registration to be easier.
1.WHAT IS VOTER REGISTRATION? It is a way of showing your interest in participating in the election process and choosing a government of your choice or being part of that government.
2. WHY DO I HAVE TO REGISTER? To be able to participate in the elections as a voter or as a candidate you need to register. This also assists the Elections and Boundaries Commission to be able to know the size of the electorate (voter register).
3. WHO SHOULD REGISTER? All Swazis who have attained the age of 18 and permanent residents or temporary residents who have legally been resident in Swaziland for not less than five years and have the necessary proof of documentation.
4.WHERE SHOULD I REGISTER? For the 2008 national elections the Elections and Boundaries Commission in conjunction with the Regional Administrators and traditional leaders have established accessible registration points in all the chiefdoms and designated areas.
5. WHAT DO I CARRY TO REGISTER? Bring along your national ID card, travel document or a valid driver's licence. If you do not possess any of the above documents, register at your chiefdom where competent witnesses will available to identify you.
6. HOW DIFFERENT IS THE CURRENT REGISTRATION PROCESS FROM THE PREVIOUS? The current registration system requires that your thumb print and photo be taken, unlike in the past. After registration you will receive a portable voter card with your picture which is proof that you have indeed registered.
7. CAN I REGISTER IN A DIFFERENT STATION AND VOTE IN ANOTHER? Yes, but when you register indicate where you want to cast your vote so that your name can be transferred to that Inkhundla using approved Form 6. It is however encouraged that you register at your Umphakatsi if you can.
8. IS IT POSSIBLE TO REGISTER IN TWO DIFFERENT CENTRES? It is not allowed to register in more than one centre but it is possible as the system is manual at the registration centres. However, when the registration forms come back to the EBC office, the information will be computerized and any person who registered twice will be identified and handed over to the police.
9. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HAVING MY THUMB PRINT TAKEN? It
serves to identify the registered person biometrically. The thump print is attached to your photo in the system.
10. CAN I REGISTER ON BEHALF OF ANOTHER PERSON? A Definite NO! A person has to go in person to register. Remember you need to have your thumb-print and photo taken when registering hence no one can register on your behalf.
11. WHAT IF I REGISTERED AND MY PHOTO OR THUMB PRINT WAS NOT TAKEN? Please get back to the station where you registered and have your photo and thumb print taken because without that your registration is incomplete.
12. CAN I REGISTER TO VOTE AND STAND FOR AN ELECTION IN AN AREA WHERE I RESIDE EVEN THOUGH I BELONG TO ANOTHER CHIEFDOM? If you are a S wazi over the age of 18 who has resided in a certain area for more than three months, you have the right to register to vote and stand for an election in that area.
13. IS IT APPROPRIATE WHEN APERSON OFFERS ME A LIFT OR GIFTS TO REGISTER ON CONDITION THAT I VOTE FOR HIM/HER? It is unlawful to bribe or treat people at any stage of the election process with the intention to coerce them to vote for you. Report such a person to the Police or the EBC Office.
14. WHO IS DISQUALIFIED FROM REGISTERING?
• A person who is certified insane or of unsound mind.
• For an act which is a criminal offence under the law of Swaziland under sentence of death or life imprisonment imposed on that person by a court in any country or
• Is disqualified for registration as a voter under any law for the time being in force in S Swaziland relating to offences connected with elections.
15. WHAT IF I DO NOT REGISTER? You will lose your right to participate in the election of a government of your choice. You will not be able to vote or be voted for.
16. WHEN IS THE FINAL DAY OF REGISTRATION? Registration ends on Sunday, June 22.
17. IS THERE ANY PROBABILITY THAT THE REGISTRATION DATES WILL BE EXTENDED? Registration dates will not be extended and if you still haven't registered please make use of the few days left to exercise your right.
18. HOW DO I ENSURE THAT I HAVE BEEN PROPERLY REGKTEREDEVEN BEFORE NOMINATION? Avoters register will be issued in each registration centre after the regjstration process where you can inspect whether you rname appears among registered voters.
19. WHAT ABOUT SWAZIS RESIDING IN OTHER COUNTRIES? They can enquire at their embassies in those countries they are resident in.
20. WHERE DO I ACCESS MORE INFORMATION ABOUT REGISTRATION AND THE ELECTION PROCESS? You will continuously get more information and education about the election process through the media and can also log on to www.voteSwaziland.org.sz