Otjinene voters educated on EVMs

14 Jul 2014 13:50pm
OTJINENE, 14 JUL (NAMPA) - Voter education officers in the Omaheke Region, who have been on an education campaign in anticipation of the oncoming by-elections at Otjinene, have expressed satisfaction with the process.
The voter education officers have been educating potential voters on voting procedures, especially on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), which is expected to be used for the first time in the Omaheke Region during the upcoming elections.
Deon Hekemo, who leads a team of voter education officers currently in Otjinene, noted on Friday that the community of Otjinene have been turning up in numbers at their information stand for information on the elections. During such information sessions, the operation of the EVMs are demonstrated to the public, and they are allowed to test the EVMs.
“People have been coming to our stands at various places around Otjinene to see the EVMs for themselves and also to become acquainted with it. Since we are mobile we have managed to cover a large part of Otjinene and I am positive that many people are in the know about the EVMs,” Hekemo said as he demonstrated the operation of the machines to community members.
Amongst those who were present during the demonstration were the Special Advisor to the Omaheke Governor, Pio Nganate and Okorukambe Constituency Councillor, Kilus Nguvauva, who were in Otjinene for another function.
Hekemo explained that political parties will be allowed to provide party agents during the balloting process, as has been the norm, whose duty will amongst others be to make sure that the EVMs are not tampered with.
The machines were sourced from an Indian company, Bharat Electronics, which developed and designed this technology for electoral processes in the world’s largest democracy.
Although various technologies have been used to automate certain processes in electoral systems, as yet, no African country has utilised actual electronic voting machines as part of its election.
In the March 2013 election in Kenya, in what was meant to be Africa’s most modern election, biometric systems were introduced to streamline the voter registration process, while electronic tallying was used to speed up the counting and tallying process once votes were cast.
Unfortunately, due to operational and technical problems, both systems failed, forcing the electoral management body to resort to a hand count - a process that took five days and threatened to destabilise the entire electoral process.