Voter Safety & Motivation in the Maldives

Updated: April 2021
Screenshot of The Elections Commission of the Maldives Voter Education Videos. The image shows the Commission's logo, with the contact information on the bottom.

In March 2021, The Election Commission of the Maldives, with support from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), developed four voter education videos ahead of the April 2021 local council and women’s development committee elections. The videos detail how to safely vote during the COVID-19 pandemic, detail polling procedures, describe the importance of the local council gender quotas and explain the process for assisted voting. The dialogue is in Dhivehi with English subtitles and includes Maldivian Sign Language. A transcript of each video is below. 

 

 

Election Day

 

[Transcript begins]

 

Narrator: The local council and women's development committee elections will be held on 10th April 2021 starting at 7:00 am. When going for voting, bring an official identification document. The Elections Commission will take special precautions throughout the polling process to ensure safety from COVID-19. Use hand sanitizers when entering the polling station. Wear a mask at all times. Voters must keep 3ft apart while waiting in the queue. It is important to bring your own pen (black or blue). After voting, leave the polling station without further delays. Let's vote safely. 

 

[Transcript ends] 

 

 

Voter Motivation

 

[Transcript begins]

 

Narrator: In addition to the local council election, the women's development committee elections will be held on 10 April 2021, at 7:00 am. The changes brought to the Decentralization Act will give additional administrative and fiscal powers to the local council. To ensure the rights of women and to increase women's inclusion in local governance, 33% of council seats are allocated to women. Voting is a powerful tool for all citizens to bring positive change to the community. Make use of it! Follow COVID-19 prevention measures and vote safely. 

 

[Transcript ends]

 

 

Local Council Election Gender Quota

 

[Transcript begins]

 

Narrator: Although women and girls make up 49.6% of the population of the Maldives, women representatives account for only 6% of elected local council members. A government's leaders are meant to reflect the make-up of the entire population of the Maldives. For the first time, in the April 10, 2021, local elections, a 33% quota for women has been established for island and city councils to increase women's representation in local government. A more representative government will strengthen democracy for all, contribute to inclusive economic development, and facilitate government responsiveness to the needs of all citizens. Engaging women leaders alongside men will help ensure that local governments are responsive to women's and men's diverse needs. We are stronger when all voices are included in decision-making. Voting is a powerful tool for all citizens. Make use of it. Vote safely. 

 

[Transcript ends]

 

 

Polling Regulations and Assisted Voting‚Äč

 

[Transcript begins]

 

Narrator: The local council election and the women's development committee elections will be held on 10 April 2021, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. You cannot bring handbags, mobile phones and files into the polling station. Campaign or promotional materials that promote a specific candidate are not allowed inside polling stations. Voters with a physical disability that hinders their ability to cast their vote independently, can receive assistance from a polling official or an assistant of their choice. If assistance is needed, permission must be granted by the official overseeing the ballot box on election day. Vote safely! 

 

[Transcript ends]

 

 

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