Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Namibia: Electoral body finds remedy to EVM slots quagmire

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) yesterday explained how an additional electoral voting machine (EVM) per polling booth will be used in the November 28 general elections, following the realisation that there are not enough slots for all the registered political parties on one machine.

The ECN Director of Operations Theo Mujoro told Namibian Sun that logistical arrangements for the upcoming elections have been re-organised to accommodate the additional EVM per polling booth when voting in the National Assembly portion of the general elections.

The strategy was introduced after 16 political parties registered for the November 28 polls, while there are only 15 slots on the country’s EVMs.

According to Mujoro, although an additional EVM will be used, the two machines will be connected with a cable to act as one ballot unit.

He explained yesterday that one EVM will be labelled from 1 to 15, while the next EVM will then start from number 16.

Mujoro said because the two machines are connected, it will be impossible to cast more than one vote on them.

“It will not register if you try to cast a vote for more than one party,” said the ECN Director of Elections Professor Paul Isaak.

Mujoro added that even if 45 political parties register for elections in the future, the ECN can just connect up more ballot units.

Meanwhile, Mujoro said there are more than enough EVMs that can be used for the elections.
He said in theory, for a country like Namibia with slightly more than one million voters registered, 550 EVMs are sufficient.

“The ECN has bought sufficient EVMs,” Mujoro said. He said a total of 6 800 EVMs have been acquired.

According to him, the number of polling stations will also not be affected.
The commission said there would be 1 386 fixed polling stations and 2 586 mobile polling stations placed throughout the country.

“We will retain the number of polling stations that we have.”
He said EVMs to be are used in the mobile polling stations will be underutilised, as situated in rural areas and on commercial farms.

The Namibian Sun

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