The Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), who failed to secure a single seat in last year’s National Assembly and Presidential elections, say they are ready for the upcoming regional and local authority elections slated for November. The NEFF has qualms though with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to be used without paper trails. The Director of Elections, Professor Paul Isaak, was quoted last week saying the upcoming elections would be conducted without a voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT). “We have this doubt about the EVMs without paper trials. I don’t know whether Swapo is the enemy of democracy or what. You cannot force people to use something that is not verifiable and claim to have everything free and fair,” NEFF National Coordinator Kalimbo Iipumbu said on Monday.Full Article: NEFF skeptical over electronic voting machines | New Era Newspaper Namibia.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Namibia.
Presidential polls in Namibia have incumbent prime minister Hage Geigob of the ruling SWAPO party leading with 84 percent of the roughly 10 percent of votes officially released so far but the new electronic polling gizmos are leaving some Namibians skeptical. Some 1.2 million people are expected to cast their votes electronically in the country’s fifth election since independence. It will be the first use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) on the African continent. Voters will select presidential and parliamentary candidates directly on the EVMs—slabs of green and white plastic with the names and images of candidates and their party affiliation—that make a loud beep after each vote. The voting modules will not be connected externally to any sources to prevent tampering, and the commission hopes electronic voting will reduce lines and speed up counting. But according to local media reports, results have been trickling in at a snail’s pace at the election centre in the capital Windhoek, worrying the ruling party.Full Article: Electronic voting comes to Namibia, all is not well - Frost Illustrated : Frost Illustrated.
Presidential polls in Namibia have incumbent prime minister Hage Geigob of the ruling SWAPO party leading with 84 percent of the roughly 10 percent of votes officially released so far but the new electronic polling gizmos are leaving some Namibians skeptical. Some 1.2 million people are expected to cast their votes electronically in the country’s fifth election since independence. It will be the first use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) on the African continent. Voters will select presidential and parliamentary candidates directly on the EVMs – slabs of green and white plastic with the names and images of candidates and their party affiliation – that make a loud beep after each vote. The voting modules will not be connected externally to any sources to prevent tampering, and the commission hopes electronic voting will reduce lines and speed up counting. But according to local media reports, results have been trickling in at a snail’s pace at the election centre in the capital Windhoek, worrying the ruling party.Full Article: Electronic Voting Comes to Namibia | Inter Press Service.
The two Indian experts, who were in the country from Bangalore, Krishna Kumar and Sreenivasa Rao, said any delay in election results, was not because of the machines. “Any election is a long process.Whatever delay there is, has nothing to do with the EVMs,” Kumar said, during an interview with The Namibian at the ECN headquarters on Monday. Opposition parties, including the Workers Revolutionary Party, the Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters and Nudo, blamed the election mishaps on the EVMs, including the delay in the announcement of the Presidential and National Assembly results, which they claimed were being “cooked and manipulated behind closed doors” using the machines. “They are cooking and stirring a pot inside there. EVMs were pre-programmed to give a pre-determined election result in favour of the ruling party (Swapo),” human-rights activist and labour consultant August Maletzky said as he commented on the delay in announcing the results on Monday. But the Indians insist the machines cannot be pre-programmed. “The electronic voting machine is a stand-alone equipment which cannot be connected to an electronic device such as Bluetooth and cannot be manipulated. Once programmed, it cannot be altered,” explains Rao, who is the senior assistant engineer at Bharat. He says the device has been programmed only once during its manufacturing and therefore cannot be re-programmed as some people allege. The experts say back in India, the EVMs have also stirred up debate and received a lot of criticism from opposition parties since they were introduced in the country’s elections in 2000, but said all those disputes have come to naught.Full Article: The Namibian - Indians defend electronic voting machines (News | National).
Namibia: SWAPO ahead in Namibia election count after Africa′s first electronic poll | Deutsche Welle
Reports from Namibia on Monday said the ruling South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) party was leading in preliminary results. It was credited with having taken 77 percent of Friday’s poll — based on returns from about ten percent of 121 constituencies. Turnout was put at 69 percent of the 1.2 million Namibians eligible to vote, according to official figures. Opposition parties claimed thousands of voters were turned away from polling stations because of technical difficulties. Results from Africa’s first ever electronic vote were still being verified on Monday. Theo Mujoro, director of operations for the Electoral Commission of Namibia, said the commission had found mathematical errors in the results from some constituencies. “The problem primarily is that, from the returns that we received from some of the constituencies, we have detected some mathematical errors and what we have been doing is that we are contacting the returning officers so that they may provide us with the sole document for us to be able to ascertain for ourselves and to effect the necessary corrections,” Mujoro said. He had previously said results would be available within 24 hours of voting.Full Article: SWAPO ahead in Namibia election count after Africa′s first electronic poll | News | DW.DE | 01.12.2014.
Hundreds of thousands of Namibian voters joined long queues when voting started on Friday from seven o’clock in the morning but were slowed by technical problems ineptly handled by nervous-looking polling officials. Officially polling was supposed to start at 07h00 and close at 21h00 for the over 1.2 million registered voters among them first-time voters or so-called ‘born frees’ but at some polling stations voters only cast their votes on Saturday morning at around 03h00. The ‘born free’ generation comprising of people born after Namibia’s independence in 1990 constituted 20 percent of the over 1.2 million registered voters across Namibia. Voting was expected to start in the morning at 7:00 but some of the polling stations could not start on time because of glitches with some of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) being used for the first time in any African presidential and parliamentary elections. By early Friday morning hordes of Namibians could be seen congregating at the polling station at Dagbreek Special School in Klein Windhoek. But by 08:45 some of these potential voters among them senior officials left the polling station in frustration because the EVMs were not working at the polling station. Other potential voters could be seen still milling around. One of the potential voters said he had heard that at least five other nearby polling stations had similar problems.Full Article: EVM glitches slowed voting across Namibia - Read Namibian National News.
Namibians voting in their presidential election will become the first in Africa to use electronic voting. It has been 25 years since Namibia’s first democratic elections, and for the first time 1.2 million people are expected to cast their votes electronically in the country’s fifth election since independence. “The decision to consider acquiring electronic voting machines was primarily based on some challenges and experiences that we have had in the manner and way we manage our elections,” the electoral commission’s Theo Mujoro told China’s CCTV. The voters will cast their ballots for presidential and parliamentary candidates on separate machines, chunky slabs of green and white plastic with the names and images of candidates and their party affiliation that make a loud beep after each vote. “The younger people get it first time, but the older ones you have to explain a little,” said presiding officer Hertha Erastus.Full Article: Namibian election first in Africa to use electronic voting machines - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).
Voting began Friday in Namibia’s presidential and legislative elections, in an election that is expected to see the ruling SWAPO party retain power in the country it has run since independence 24 years ago. Voters at Katutura township, outside the capital Windhoek, formed long lines before daybreak, including some first-time “born free” voters – those born after independence in 1990. “It’s a rich country with poor people, so I hope there is more balance,” said 43-year-old Elias while waiting to cast his vote. Although he expects the ruling South West People’s Organisation (SWAPO) to win, he wants to see a more opposition parliamentarians challenge the long-party’s 24 year grip on power. Polls opened at 7am local time and will close around 14 hours later in the latest closing stations.Full Article: iafrica.com Namibia gets e-voting.
Namibia is to become the first African country to use electronic voting machines in a general election, after the Windhoek high court dismissed a legal challenge by an opposition political party. The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) filed an urgent court application to seek the annulment and postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for this Friday, arguing that the machines violate Namibia’s newly amended Electoral Act because they leave no paper trail. The party was joined in its high court application by the African Labour and Human Rights Centre’s director August Maletzky and the Workers Revolutionary Party. But on Wednesday the high court rejected the claims that the use of the e-voting machines was unconstitutional and a breach of the Electoral Act. The Act stipulates that use of the machines in polling should be “subject to the simultaneous utilisation of a verifiable paper trail for every vote cast by a voter and any vote cast is verified by account of the paper trail”. It continues: “In the event that the results of the voting machines and the results of the paper trail do not tally, the paper trail results are accepted as the election outcome for the polling station or voting thread concerned.”Full Article: Landmark e-voting to go ahead in Namibia after court challenge fails | News | Africa | Mail & Guardian.
Namibia will vote in Africa’s first electronic ballot Friday, a general election that will usher in a new president and quotas to put more women in government. Opposition parties had launched an 11th-hour challenge to the use of the Indian-made e-voting machines, claiming the lack of a paper trail could open the door to vote rigging. But the Windhoek High Court dismissed the application on Wednesday, leaving the door open for the election to go ahead as planned. Namibians will choose 96 members of the national assembly and one of nine presidential candidates, ranging from the left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters to the white minority Republican Party. Around 1.2 million Namibians are eligible to cast their ballots at nearly 4,000 electronic voting stations across the vast desert nation. But there is only one likely winner. Current Prime Minister Hage Geingob of the ruling SWAPO party has run on a platform of “peace, stability and prosperity” and is sure to become the new president.Full Article: Namibia prepares for Africa's first e-vote | Daily Mail Online.
Three opposition parties brought an urgent application before the Windhoek High Court on Tuesday requesting it to postpone Friday’s parliamentary and presidential elections. “We ask the court to direct the electoral commission to stop the use of electronic voting machines [EVMs] as they do not produce a verifiable paper trail for every vote cast by the voter,” the first applicant, August Maletzky, asked Judge Kobus Miller. “We further ask the court to declare a section of the recently promulgated new elections act, which allows to suspend certain clauses of the new act and to direct the commission to conduct free and fair elections in February 2015,” Maletzky added. Elections are slated for this coming Friday, when 1.24 million eligible voters will elect a new government.Full Article: Namibia's polls face legal challenge by opposition | News24.
Namibia’s election commission says preparations for next week’s national elections are going well as the country becomes the first in Africa to use electronic voting machines. “We will deploy 2080 teams to the 121 constitutions in the 14 regions of the country to operate 1255 fixed and 2711 mobile polling stations,” electoral body chair Notemba Tjipueja told reporters on Thursday. There are 1 241 194 eligible voters on the final voter’s roll. Namibia has a population of 2.1 million. Parliamentary and presidential elections will take place on Friday, 28 November. It will be the first time the country votes in one single day. During the previous five elections two days were set aside for voting, which opposition parties criticised.Full Article: Namibia ready to vote | News24.
In a first for Africa, Namibians will cast their ballots electronically in this month’s presidential and legislative polls, the election commission said Friday. Over 1 million voters, or just about half of the nation’s 2.3 million people, are due to vote on November 28. “I think it’s a big achievement for Namibia and the African continent at large,” Nontemba Tjipueja, chairwoman of the Electoral Commission of Namibia told AFP. She said the voting machines, imported from India, will help improve accuracy, speed up counting, eliminate human interference and cut down on spoiled ballots. “Results will come through the same day just after the closing of the polls,” she said, adding that final results will be announced within 24 hours.Full Article: Namibia to be Africa's first to use e-voting | GlobalPost.
The Electoral Commission of Namibia yesterday backtracked on an announcement that only voters registered at Namibia’s foreign missions would be allowed to cast their votes at polling stations outside the country on Friday next week. In a media statement issued yesterday, ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja denied that the ECN had taken a decision to exclude any registered voters outside Namibia from exercising their right to vote at the country’s foreign missions. “It is, and always was, the Commission’s point of view that all registered voters in possession of a valid voters’ registration card be allowed to vote in terms of Section 98 of the Electoral Act,” Tjipueja stated.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Namibia: ECN Makes U-Turn On Foreign Voting.
The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has moved to allay fears of vote rigging and corruption after opposition parties raised alarm about the use of electronic voting machines without a paper trail. Namibians are set to go to the polls in November to elect the country’s third democratically elected president as well as members of the National Assembly. The November plebiscite will for the first time make use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) that were purchased from India, but the absence of a paper trail to be used in conjunction with the voting machines has seen members of the opposition crying foul. Despite the use of the voting machines in regional by elections held recently that were declared free and fair, the opposition feel that the absence of a verifiable paper trial will see results of the November election being manipulated in favor of the ruling party South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO).Full Article: Namibia's electoral commission quashes fears of vote rigging | GlobalPost.
Prime Minister Hage Geingob yesterday asked the electoral commission whether the electronic voting machines are reliable if there are still questions about the paper trail option. The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) paid a courtesy call on Geingob to explain and clarify to him the use of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) Geingob said there are questions being asked and requested that the ECN should provide comprehensive answers. “If the machines are so good, why do we still have the option of a paper trail?” Some political parties have questioned the voting machines’ reliability, saying there is a possibility for the machines to be tampered with or pre-programmed to favour a certain political party.Full Article: The Namibian - Geingob questions reliability of EVMs (News | National).
Two months before Namibians head to the polls, the Electoral Commission of Namibia has only half of the electronic voting machines required to hold successful elections. The Namibian reported in May this year that the ECN had planned to purchase 3 500 additional EVMs for the national and presidential elections at the cost of N$30 million, in order to supplement the current 3 500 EVMs. However, this has not happened. ECN director of operations Theo Mujoro yesterday said they are aware that the current number of machines would not be sufficient to cover the elections and therefore there is a need to purchase more. “The machines will be available by mid-October to supplement the current number that is in our possession, “ said Mujoro. He added that for each polling station, there will be two ballot units connected to a control unit which allows the voter to cast their vote like in a ballot election and in this way to replicate the manual election process. The EVM consists of a ballot unit, a control unit and a tabulator with printers.Full Article: The Namibian - Half of electronic voting machines yet to arrive (News | National).
Namibia: Implementing Biometric-Based Systems – Researchers Challenge Electronic Voting | allAfrica.com
In line with last week’s article “Implementing Biometrics based Systems: Electronic Voting Selection Criteria”, we continue our focus on electronic voting, known as e-voting, to be held in Namibia. In addition, the Biometric Research Laboratory, BRL, at Namibia Biometric System will answer some of the questions received in last week’s article. However, researcher at BRL and worldwide have been keen to get access to e-voting machine and independently assess the merits of the machines. Researchers at BRL would like to highlight some of the latest findings on e-voting machines conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan. Recently in May 2014, researchers at the University of Michigan said they have developed a technique to hack into the Indian electronic voting machines. University of Michigan researchers were able to change results by sending text messages from a mobile.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Namibia: Implementing Biometric-Based Systems - Researchers Challenge Electronic Voting.
Opposition parties are sceptical over the new electronic voting system to be used in the presidential and parliamentary elections in November. Some of the opposition say the electronic voting machines (EVMs) should not be used because they were not previously tested in Namibia and the electorate have not been educated on them, while others propose the ballot and electronic systems be used together. E-voting is a term encompassing several different types of voting, embracing the electronic means of casting a vote, storing the voting record in some database and electronically counting the votes. In interviews on Monday,some parties decried the Electoral Commission of Namibia’s plans to introduce the new system, while others claim the new system can be the panacea for smooth elections if some of the nitty-gritties are addressed.Full Article: Opposition cynical over EVMs.
Namibia is planning to use a biometric voter registration system for its upcoming election and the country’s electoral commission has just launched the machine it will be using to enroll voters. According to a report in The Namibian, the machines were manufactured in South Africa, and consist of a laptop, fingerprint scanner, camera and signature and barcode scanner. Voter registration starts on January 15 and ends on March 2 next year. Altogether there are 904 machines as well as generators and back-up kits for emergencies.Full Article: Namibia unveils biometric machine for voter registration | BiometricUpdate.com.