ECN introduces voter verification devices

20 Nov 2014 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 20 NOV (NAMPA) – The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) will deploy hand-held voter verification devices at all polling stations across the country in order to verify and authenticate all voters before they cast their votes.
These devices will be used for the first time during the Presidential and National Assembly elections on 28 November 2014.
Speaking at a media briefing here on Thursday, Chairperson of the ECN Notemba Tjipueja, said the entire national voters' roll will be loaded on each voter verification device with all the biometrics and biographical data of the voters.
“This technology allows faster verification of voters and will immensely shorten the time voters have to spend in queues and inside the polling stations,” she said.
Tjipueja explained that all voters who cast their votes at Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, as well as at Namibia's foreign missions abroad on 14 November 2014 will be marked as voted on these devices and will not be able to vote for a second time.
She stressed that the technology will enhance the ECN's ability to detect fraudulent voters with a view to uphold the ECN's one-(wo)man-one-vote-principle.
The chairperson said the usage of the voter verification devices will also enable the ECN to produce more accurate data for example on voting trends based on gender and age as well as voter turnout at various polling stations on polling day. She said the devices will be used in the post-election review period as well for statistical analysis.
Tjipueja reported that most of the registered voters abroad had an opportunity to cast their votes at Namibia's diplomatic missions last Friday, adding that all polling stations opened on time with exception of Moscow, Russia.
“The voting process at our embassy in Moscow was delayed due to difficulties experienced with the customs office in that country and our liaison with that office,” she said.
Tjipueja, however, said the ECN officials have managed to collect the election materials, activate the polling station and enabled all registered voters who turned up to cast their vote.