Monday, November 10, 2014

Namibia: Electoral body sets limits for voting assists

Elections Director, Paul Isaak says no individual should be allowed to assist more than 10 people who are unable to vote on their own, due to old age or poor eyesight.

Isaak was responding to reports that some individuals were being allowed to assist a limitless number of people in casting their votes during the Endola constituency by-election.

He told reporters at the Ongha Senior Secondary School polling station in the Ohangwena Region on Friday that although the Electoral Act does not clearly limit the number of voters who may be assisted by one person at the ballot, it was only logical that such numbers be kept as low as possible.

“The ECN suggested one person should be limited to assisting 10 voters only,” Isaak stated.

He argued that this must be done to ensure that people's votes are not compromised, and that their freedom of choice in the voting process remains a secret.

He also appealed to political parties contesting the election not to abuse the provision, by jumping at the opportunity to assist elderly voters in the hope of garnering more votes for their respective parties.

Turning to the matter of the by-election at hand, Isaak pointed out that ECN statistics indicate that less than 12 000 voters are registered to take part in the Endola constituency contest.

Returning officer for the Endola constituency by-election, Kerthu Shipoke told Nampa that voters have been turning up in big numbers at the 23 polling stations at the constituency on Friday.

“This includes the number of voters who are catered for at our six mobile polling stations,” Shipoke said, adding that people have shown that they are eager to participate in the elections this year.

The by-election for the Endola constituency became necessary after the death of former Ohangwena Regional Councillor for that constituency, Ruth Kepawa Nhinda in August this year. - Nampa

The Namibian

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