Ahead of October Poll. ELECAM Intensifies Voters’ Card Production

Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) personnel at the Biometric Centre down town Yaounde have intensified the production of voters’ card since the electorate for the Presidential election was convene by President Paul Biya.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

Since the convening of the electorate for the Presidential election slated for October 7, 2018, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), the independent body charged with the management and organization of free, fair and transparent elections and referendums in Cameroon, has multiplied efforts in the production of voters’ card (a document required by law to be possess by all electors before they are allowed to vote).

Statistics gathered at the ELECAM Biometric Centre down town Yaounde indicates that nearly 135,000 voters’ cards are available for potential voters who registered at the beginning of the year. The pace of work and the volume of production has tremendously doubled with 15,000 to 20,000 voter’ cards produced per day at the National Biometric Centre.

The Director General of Elections, Dr Erik Essousse accompanied by the Deputy Director General Abdoulkarimou recently visited the production unit to ascertain the functioning of the machines and the production process. The top management of Elections Cameroon was satisfied with the pace of the work and encouraged the production team in order to meet the expected deadline.

The unexpected visit to the National Biometric Centre by the DGE and his deputy coincided with the withdrawals by Elections Cameroon’s Regional Delegates, dozens of cartons containing voters’ cards destined for their respective regions. Divisional Branch Heads of ELECAM in the Centre Region were also spotted as they turned up to collect what is destined for their Divisions after their meeting with the Electoral Board and the General Directorate of Elections.

Cartons labeled with names of the various Divisional Branches of ELECAM across the country, containing voters’ cards arranged according to Council Branches and by polling stations could be seen well-arranged and ready for collection by various Regional Delegates. According to the DGA Elections, there are nearly 135,000 cards already produced since the launch of this operation. The production stage is preceded by several cross-checking steps, checking names, polling stations and council branches amongst others.

We directly classify registered voters according to their polling stations. This will facilitate the distribution of voter cards in the field, “said Abdulkarimou. As for the voters in the diaspora, their cards are also produced, especially that “the number is not very high,” says the DGA of Elections.

The National Biometrics Centre, according to the technical team leader, is ready and equipped to meet this challenge at this crucial time. After the convening of the electorate, it is projected that more than 300,000, newly registered voters were recorded and must be issued voters’ cards. The Director General of Elections, Erik Essoussé, has given firm instructions so that all technical needs are resolved in the shortest possible time, so that the production process runs smoothly.

Meanwhile, all attention is now focused on the Electoral Board to publish the final list of aspirants retained for the October 7 poll. President Paul Biya and his ruling CPDM as well as opposition party supporting him are confident that their candidate will feature among the shortlisted aspirant to run for the Presidential race.

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