‘Not Applicable’ may mean you need a new voter’s card

Image courtesy: Namibia Fact Check

If people want to vote in local and regional elections this November, they better make sure their voter’s card is ‘applicable’.

Supplementary registration for the November 2020 local and regional authorities elections runs from 7 September to 15 September 2020, allowing many eligible voters to register to get a new card that would allow them to vote in the upcoming elections.

For many this will be because many of the voter’s cards issued ahead of the November 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections will not be applicable, as many do not indicate a local authority area within which the voter is allowed to vote. It’s important to note that, for voters outside local authority areas, this is not an issue and they will be allowed to vote in regional elections with the card.

A voter’s card indicating (red circled area) that the voter will not be allowed to vote with this card in a local election.

Since late August 2020, various political parties or movements have picked up on the ‘Not Applicable’ issue and have been encouraging voters to check whether this situation applies to them. Following are examples of political parties or movements exhorting their supporters and voters to re-register to get a new voter’s card that reflects their local authority.

The first to encourage voters to get new cards was the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) party at the end of August 2020.

A similar graphic encouraging voters to go and re-register for a new voter’s card was issued online by something called ‘Namibia Unite’ (below).

A similar graphic to the one by the IPC appeared on social media in early September 2020.

And then the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement issued their own voter education material (below) on the matter shortly before 7 September 2020.

AR encouraging voters and supporters to ensure their voter’s cards are valid.

In early September 2020, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) also called on eligible voters to ensure their voter’s cards are valid for the upcoming elections, pointing to the same issue of cards stating ‘Not Applicable’ where a local authority should be reflected.

An ECN voter education graphic.

If you’re one of the voters with a card stating ‘Not Applicable’ where your local authority should be reflected, then you need to go and register to get a new voter’s card at one of the following voter registration points.