More EVMs arrive ahead of elections

October 16, 2014, 12:00pm

More EVMs arrive ahead of elections

WINDHOEK – The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has received another 3 400 electronic voting machines (EVMs), bringing the total number of machines to 6 800.

ECN’s Director of Operations, Theo Mujoro, confirmed the arrival of the EVM consignment this week.

Mujoro said the ECN received the EVMs on Friday and were plotting the allocation of the machines to the various constituencies based on population size.

“We are pretty much on safe ground,” he said, reassuring voters of their readiness for the upcoming elections.

Namibians will go to the polls in the fifth presidential and National Assembly elections on November 28.

On the question of whether the EVMs could simultaneously produce a voter verified paper trail when someone votes, Mujoro said they do not have that feature, but that in the event of a dispute, they could produce a printout with records clearly showing which candidate and political party was voted for.

“The EVMs do not simultaneously print. It’s not capable. It will remain that way for the upcoming elections,” he said.

Polls at foreign missions and at Lüderitz and Walvis Bay, for sea-going personnel, will be conducted on November 14, while political parties were invited to submit their nominations for presidential candidates from October 13 – 29.

The Endola and Windhoek West constituencies will hold by-elections on November 7 and November 14, respectively.

The ECN said it would also have in place arrangements for the accreditation of both foreign and local election observers.

Mujoro said they have also deployed teams and equipment to all constituencies and would maintain the same infrastructure across the board.

There would be 42 regional coordinators and assistants, 121 constituency supervisors, 160 IT support staff, 3 505 registration officials and a total of 904 mobile registration kits in all regions.

An Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) would also be put in place to detect duplicate fingerprints, while exploring the possibility of a computerised system to interface with the Ministry of Home Affairs’ records.

The new voter card has a barcode which when scanned throws out data of the voter, which speeds up the voting process.

Mujoro reiterated his reassurance to voters about the EVM’s efficiency, which he said would speed up the voting process as seen during elections in local authorities in the different constituencies and that election results could be announced within 48 hours or less from opening to closing of polls.

He said that results for each constituency would be announced and mounted at polling stations as soon as they become available but the most important result would be the tally of the whole country and not individual constituencies.

Courtesy The New Era