CORRECTION: ECN to commence with first-level EVM inspections

01 Nov 2015 20:40pm
REPLACING 'check-ups' WITH 'inspections' IN TITLE AND INTRO

WINDHOEK 01 NOV (NAMPA) – The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) is to begin performing inspections on the electronic voting machines (EVMs) this week.
This will be done at the ECN Head Office in Windhoek and in the presence of the political parties contesting the Regional Council and Local Authority Elections slated for 27 November. Members of the media and the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) will also be present during the testing.
Speaking to Nampa on Thursday, ECN Director of Elections, Paul Isaak said: “In the presence of the political parties, we will test our machines to see if they are ready and prepare them to be sent to the regions”.
The ECN has also been busy training election officials for the past two weeks.
Isaak said training is being done in clusters, where officials from three different regions are being trained together at once to cut costs.
“The training is being done to help our election officials to familiarise themselves on the issues of the various devices such as the EVMs and the voter verification devices.”
At an informative workshop two weeks ago, ECN Director of Operations, Theo Mujoro said that with only one political party contesting in some constituencies and local authorities and candidates therefore being duly elected, the ECN suspended voter education in those constituencies. This has also led to a decrease in polling officials from 13 000 to 10 000, and the relocation of some to other regions and constituencies where more than one political party is contesting.
He said the list of nominated candidates and the announcement of polling days and stations is expected this week.
The Final Voters’ Register is expected out on 16 November and ballot papers displaying the candidates and parties on the EVMs corresponding buttons are expected to be done by 08 November.
Namibia was the first African country to use EVMs during its 2014 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
EVMs for the 2015 Regional Council and Local Authority Elections will be programmed for 95 constituencies and 52 local authorities.
Mujoro said the programming is the responsibility of ECN returning officers with the support of ECN head office staff and engineers from the Indian company that manufactured the EVMs specifically for elections in Namibia.