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Tanzania set to register 4m new voters for next general elections

Tanzania’s state-owned National Electoral Commission (NEC) will soon update its Biometric Voters’ Register (BVR) in which about four million new voters will be registered.

Anthony Mavunde, the Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and Persons with Disabilities made this known on Thursday.

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He told the National Assembly that new voters would be registered before the 2020 general elections.

Mavunde was responding to a question posed by Special Seats Member of Parliament, Cecilia Paresso, who wanted to know when the government intended to start updating the electronic voter register.

Paresso wanted to know the measures the government is taking to find solutions to many challenges that emerged during registration of voters in previous years.

According to Paresso, some of the BVR machines were inefficient and some cameras did not function properly, resulting in long queues at registration centres.

Mavunde said the law required NEC to update the voters’ register two times before the general elections.

“We are now working to improve our systems to facilitate access to voters and simplify the registration process,’’ he said.

Tanzania conducted its last general elections on October 25, 2015, when the national electoral body registered about 23.7 million voters.  (NAN)