EVMs have paper trail, but only used when court-ordered: Mujoro

02 Sep 2019 17:21pm
WINDHOEK, 02 SEP (NAMPA) – The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), in their current form, can produce a paper trail but this will only be utilised when “ordered by a competent court”, Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Chief Electoral Officer, Theo Mujoro has said.
Mujoro made these comments at a workshop on fake news with a focus on the upcoming elections here on Friday.
Opposition parties have repeatedly called on the ECN to introduce the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) in the elections on 27 November to limit any possibility of altering or fraud.
“Basically, we can print an account that clearly shows a person cast their vote on a particular machine, which candidate or which party they voted for. We can produce that but as for VVPAT, we are not in a position at this time to make that available,” Mujoro responded to questions posed by Nampa during the recent engagement.
The account will not contain the particulars, such as the name, of the person who voted.
Mujoro further reiterated that the Indian-made machines are “here to stay”.
For long, opposition parties have been against the use of EVMs at national polls amid claims that the devices can or have been programmed to favour a certain candidate or political party, a claim which was also dismissed by the ECN chief.
The ECN spent over N.dollars 60 million to acquire the machines from India.
Mujoro explained that after the opposition political parties complained about the possibility of EVMs being hacked, the ECN offered to host a hacking exercise but the parties pulled out because the machines’ guidelines were too restricting in carrying out tests.
“The parties were demanding that they want to be able to connect some foreign devices to the EVMs and we said ‘no, this is not acceptable to us’. The platform was created but the parties have pulled out from this process,” he said.