Mec wants registration centres at 5km radius

Felix Njawala

The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has announced plans to introduce more polling centres in the 2025 elections at a radius of about 5 kilometres to shorten the distance voters cover when casting their vote.

Mec Director of Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the electoral body is engaging stakeholders in the 229 constituencies to discuss the establishment of more registration centres and constituency tally centres ahead of the elections.

Mwafulirwa said Mec is currently engaging political parties, traditional leaders, civil society and religious leaders to have an informed position on the matter.


He said the idea is to take elections to the people by removing all the bottlenecks that lead to voter apathy.

Further, Mwafulirwa said the constituency demarcation exercise has created new boundaries, which has pushed the electoral body to embark on the realignment of some centres.

“This is a nationwide campaign that is happening in all the 229 constituencies. [We are] asking stakeholders to help us identify places that will be centres. We want, come 2025, no voter to cover five kilometres to access a polling centre,” Mwafulirwa said


Malawi Congress Party publicity secretary Ezekiel Ching’oma commended Mec for the plan, adding it would help more people, particularly the elderly and people with disabilities, to vote easily.

Ching’oma said the creation of more centres would also help address voter apathy.

“It will increase voter turnout as the short distance to polling centres will make it easier for more people to vote, resulting in high voter turnout rates. People are more likely to cast votes if the polling centre is close to their home or workplace,” Ching’oma said.

Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Shadric Namalomba asked the electoral body to make every primary school a polling centre.

Namalomba argued that the five-kilometre radius is still a long distance.

“We feel that the distance is still long,” Namalomba said.

UTM spokesperson Felix Njawala said the idea is good, so long as the exercise is conducted throughout the country.

“It will be a good idea if this happens in all the regions of the country because it will give equal opportunity to all Malawians to vote,” Njawala said.

Mec projected that the country will have 10.9 million eligible voters in the September 2025 general elections, with the Central Region having the most eligible voters.

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