Voter Registration Teaching Manual Approved
On June 25, 2014, the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly adopted a law stipulating that parliamentary and first-round presidential elections will take place on October 26, 2014 and November 23, 2014 respectively. This ended months of speculation over the date of the next elections, and for the Tunisian people, this is a clear signal of the government’s preparedness to move forward with the democratic transition. With the High Independent Authority on Elections (ISIE) only five months into its tenure, elections officials quickly recognized the need for urgent action if the second round of elections after the revolution were to be held on time and with the highest standards for performance.
The first major exercise for the ISIE was registering voters nation-wide, which began on June 23 and will continue until July 22. Knowing that the ISIE lacked the necessary staffing and resources to prepare for this exercise in the time required, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), with the support of the Middle East Partnership Initiative, worked with ISIE officials to finalize and print a Voter Registration Training Manual for ISIE staff.
For this exercise, IFES and its Training Specialist Emad Yousef actively engaged with the ISIE in all phases of production for the manual, including development of the structure, content and design. Yousef, a Jordanian national, has extensive experience working with IFES across the Middle East and North Africa region on training and professional development for election administration officials, and he is fully accredited in the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) training methodology. Mr. Yousef met daily with ISIE staff in charge of training to help develop the format, and advised on content for preparation of the voter registration exercise, and necessary steps in the process. ISIE training staff as well as the ISIE legal department contributed to the manual, making it an excellent example of the collective efforts the ISIE will carry out as it prepares for the upcoming elections.
After the manual was approved by the ISIE, IFES agreed to print 5,000 copies, and these were delivered on June 12, 2014.