The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia is conducting voter registration, which is one of the main activities of the election process.
Accordingly, the number of registered voters so far is 31,724,947
- Male 54%
- Female 46%
The number of voter registration sites - 43,017
Problems encountered during registration of voters
- Delayed registration of voters (Due to material distribution)
- Voter registration is low in the first few weeks of registration
- Unbalanced number of demands for registrants compared to the number of registration sites especially around condominiums in Addis Ababa
- Delayed payment for polling station officials
- In some places (especially in Addis Ababa) there is a lack of executing responsibility
- Voter registration is handled differently in areas where voter registration is not possible due to security reasons
Solutions provided for problems encountered during registration of voters
- Extending the deadline of voter registration
- Strengthening cooperation with relevant government bodies regarding the distribution of materials for voter registration
- Improving voter registration messages and information distribution (SMS, multi- stakeholder collaboration, civil society mobilization, etc.)
- Dealing with suggestions from parties and citizens in conjunction with election operations (through hotline at 778)
By making special plans and arrangements in areas where there is a security problem, training of election officials and distribution of materials were carried out in collaboration with the regional security offices. In addition to this, voter registration has been set for May 8 (Welega Zones (24 constituencies), Kamash (4 constituencies) and Amhara State Oromo Nationality Special Zone (3 constituencies) are conducting special case registration.
Registration of Voters in Addis Ababa
Voter registration will take place at more than 1,600 polling stations in Addis Ababa City Administration, but registration of voters was disrupted for a variety of reasons, mainly in high-density condominiums. Henceforth
- The board realized that there was a gap in the time it would take to open new election sub-stations after the voter registration exceeded 1500 people.
- The board noted that there was a lack of monitoring by polling station officials.
- Even after the sub-stations were opened, a field survey on areas of frequent complaints was conducted and some sites were found without election materials and some election sub-stations were not even opened (For example in constituency 17, constituency 28)
- Government interference was observed at the lower ranks during the election process. (Posting incorrectly labeled banners at each polling station, giving orders to election executives, being present at polling stations, making decisions on voter registration blocks ...)
- Offices used to open polling stations located are far from condominiums which is particularly the case in Arabsa (constituency 17) and Yeka Abado (constituency 28).
The main actions that the Board implemented to address these issues are as follows.
1. A field visit was conducted in Addis Ababa led by senior board leaders regarding the opening of sub-stations and closed polling stations. This is done in the constituencies like 17, 28, 19…and the visit included checking the operation of constituencies and stations, whether they are open or not, and voter registration survey. After the visit, in addition to opening new polling stations, 30 sub-stations have been opened in two constituencies. These are for those station where the number of registered voters exceeded 1,500.
2. While this is their full responsibility, administrative action was taken against constituency officials who failed to coordinate this work. Failure to monitor material distribution, to accommodate additional site selection needs, and to implement opening of new sub-station were the major drawbacks, besides being unable to control the interference from government agencies. The contract of seven constituency coordinators and the head of the Addis Ababa City Electoral Desk of the Board was terminated. In addition to these, some shifts were made in operations department, and Internal capacity building has been done with additional manpower preparation.
3. We have informed the Addis Ababa City Administration to rectify the administrative interference.
4. Polling stations have been opened in areas of the city where there is a mismatch between polling stations and the number of voters (That is, assigning new places in consultation with the government including distribution of materials and assignment of executives)
5. The additional registration days are expected to help solve these problems. Based on this, to solve the voter registration problem in condominiums in Addis Ababa, we have requested the city government to open 47 new polling stations. Distribution of materials took place (and is still taking place) in areas where the sites are ready.
- In order to open 15 more new stations in Jemo Condominium, we have distributed materials to the 15 polling stations assigned by the city administration.
- We have informed the city government to set up five sites to open more new stations in Akaki Kaliti Sub-City, Tuludimtu condominium, and all the five places are ready, so we have distributed materials.
- We have informed the city government to set up five sites to open more new stations in Akaki Kaliti Sub-City, Gelan condominium, and all the five places are ready, so we have distributed materials.
- We have informed the city government to set up ten sites to open more new stations in Yeka Sub-City, Yeka Abado condominium, and seven of them are ready so far, so we have started distributing materials.
- We have informed the city government to set up one site in Yeka Sub-City, Yeka Hayat condominium, and we are waiting for the response.
- We have informed the city government to set up one site in Bole Sub-City, Bole Hayat condominium, and we are waiting for the response.
- We have asked the city government to set up five sites to open more new stations in Bole Sub-City, Arabsa condominium, and all the five places are ready, so we have distributed materials.
- We have informed the city government to set up five sites in Bole Sub-City, Summit condominium, and we are waiting for the response.
May 8, 2021
National Electoral Board of Ethiopia