The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is floating the idea of introducing electronic voting system in the next elections. The IEC principal public relations officer, Osupile Maroba, revealed that the commission was exploring the possibility of benchmarking on countries that have the same voting system as Botswana. The IEC has been conducting workshops with relevant stakeholders, gathering views on how to prepare for future general elections and come up with ways of encouraging people to register and vote in large numbers.
“People have expressed concern that Botswana is slow to embrace technology that is now widely accessible. We have decided to benchmark on countries that have the same system as ours and have identified Kenya as one such country. We are also looking for countries that match our voting system in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), but if we do not find we will go beyond our borders,” revealed Maroba. If Botswana adopts the automated election system the Electoral Act will have to be changed to accommodate the new system. “The current law was meant for manual registration and voting,” Maroba said. The idea of electronic voting has met with mixed reactions from local political parties. The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) secretary general, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang, said while they are not against the idea the IEC must be cautious because technology can sometimes bring confusion. “In order to bring such a sophisticated system a lot must be done in order to avoid unnecessary problems that can be encountered after implementation,” said Gobotswang.
Full Article: Electronic voting may be introduced – The Botswana Gazette.