As the August 31, 2019 deadline draws nearer for the annual revision of electoral registers, ELECAM is exploiting strategies to get as many potential voters of voting age as possible.
According to the Electoral Code, every August 31 is the date set aside for the closing of the electoral registers. Simply put, persons of voting age cannot participate in any electoral process until the next annual registers are opened and they get themselves enlisted. Going by the Electoral Code in its Section 74(1), electoral registers shall be permanent and shall be revised every year throughout the national territory. Section two of the aforementioned section stipulates that “the annual revision of the electoral registers shall commence on January 1 and end on August 31 of every year.” Against this backdrop of the August 31 deadline, ELECAM, through its different branch offices, is implementing final and broad-based strategies to have as many potential voters included on the electoral registers.
During a visit to the Yaounde VI ELECAM branch office at the Biyem-Assi neighbourhood, the staff was met registering potential voters. The Chief of Agency, Nouna epse Bassangna Rose Coquette, said they have recorded about 5,000 newly registered persons this year and equally work on weekends, a strategy to have many more registered persons. She noted that they work in synergy with quarter heads to sensitise the population and encourage them to have their names enlisted. Nouna epse Bassangna Rose Coquette however stated that they have stopped the mobile caravan registration approach. This, she explained, is because there are several cards abandoned in their office with registered persons not showing up to withdraw them. “We have over 6,000 voters’ cards which have not be withdrawn. This is most probably because most of the persons registered are those who don’t reside around this area, students on holidays who have returned to different towns or pedestrians who were encouraged to be registered by an ELECAM staff as they walked by,” she explained.
At the Yaounde III branch office at Efoulan, the Chief of Agency, Hélène Ngono, said they work in close collaboration with political parties and associations who carry out sensitisation campaigns on the importance of getting registered and subsequently voting when elections are convened. She added that they have adopted the proximity approach of registering people within her area of jurisdiction.