Politics and policy
Polls body floats 2,900 jobs for registration clerks
Posted Monday, July 16 2012 at 22:21
The elections team has embarked on the search for 2,900 voter registration clerks, despite a tender dispute that could delay procurement of the biometric kits needed for the drive.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced vacancies for two biometric voter registration (BVR) clerks per county ward, or 2,900 clerks for the 47 counties.
“The clerks will ensure accurate entry of details in the voter registers using BVR equipment,” the statement said, meaning the applicants must be computer literate.
The announcement comes just days after the High Court ruled on cases over the boundaries of the 80 new constituencies, which had delayed the voter registration scheduled to start early this month.
The start of recruitment indicates that the electoral body intends to have everything ready so that when the tender row is resolved, the registration can kick off as quickly as possible.
“The clerks will ensure safe custody of registration materials and equipment during the registration period, initially 30 days,” the IEBC said.
It was not clear whether the commission would conclude tendering for BVR in time for the voter registration, which has been rescheduled to start in August. IEBC said the new date would give Muslims time to honour the holy month of Ramadhan.
The tender documents give successful bidders 21 days to deliver the kits.
Registration will run for two months after which another two months will be added for inspection of the voters’ roll.
The General Election will be held on March 4, leaving the IEBC little margin of error with regard to timelines.
BVR is expected to be the first critical step towards deploying information technology to speed up electoral processes and boost confidence in the results.
The Independent Review Commission headed by South Africa Judge Johann Kriegler after the bungled 2007 elections identified the wide time-gap between counting of votes on the ground and release of official results as one of the sources of the tension that culminated in poll violence.
To address the problem, the IEBC floated a tender for 9,750 BVR kits for use in the remaining phase of voter registration scheduled for August.
The officials said the new kits – which include fingerprint scanners and cameras to capture the bio-data of applicants for ready display at polling stations — will help the commission to cope with increased pressure posed by conducting six elections at one go.