IFES Evaluation of the Yemen Voter Roll
A chronic problem with voter registration in Yemen has been the incidence of multiple registrations and registration of people who have not reached the age of 18. Despite the SCER’s checking and validation processes during voter registration update and review periods, there is a widespread impression that the registers are not accurate.
The 2006 voter list update in Yemen was marred by the opposition parties’ boycott of the nomination of members for the sub-committees. As a result, the operation relied on poorly trained and inexperienced civil service applicants. There were numerous cases of registration of underage voters, improper confirmation of identity, and multiple registrations. All of this again cast serious doubts on the integrity of the voter list. At the end of the registration period, 1.5 million new registrants had been added to the 8 million registered voters of Yemen.
An exhaustive review of the voter list was carried out by the Supreme Commission for Election and Referendum (SCER) and the courts. This resulted in the removal of 300,000 multiple registrants and underage registrants. However, this review was not open and lacked transparency which caused the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) to suspect that it might have been influenced by partisanship. The JMP also demanded the inclusion in the June 18 Agreement signed by the ruling party and the opposition parties of provisions relating to the further review of the voter registers. The final voter list of approximately 9.17 million voters is considered reasonably accurate by the SCER. However, there has been no independent verification of the quality of the voter list.