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.
The ECN chairperson, Notemba Tjipueja, said the voting machines were easier to use, compared to the use of pencils. She also said so far, they had not received any complaints about the use of the voting machines. Tjipueja further said that in India, where the machines were bought and used, the law was silent on the issue of paper trail. She further said although India has tested the paper trail machines, it does not mean there was anything wrong with the current ones.
“Indians held elections without using a paper trail because they don’t consider it a requirement,” Tjipueja said, adding that their Supreme Court did not make any orders regarding the use of the voting machines during the elections.