As the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) gears up for about 20 million South Africans to make their cross next Wednesday, electronic voting could be in the pipeline as the commission is pondering the seemingly futuristic technology.
More than 23 million people are registered to vote in this year’s municipal elections, and the IEC has printed 70.5 million ballot papers, for the first time printing the sheets in colour. Previously, only national election ballots were printed in colour.
However, reams of paperwork, physical voting and standing in queues could soon become a thing of the past, as the commission is exploring whether electronic voting will become a reality. An IEC insider suggests SA could roll out electronic voting for the next national elections, on a pilot basis. Two years ago, former president Kgalema Motlanthe said electronic voting booths could be a reality at the 2014 general elections.
Three years ago, chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula said SA wasn’t ready to make the move to electronic voting. She said the cost was prohibitive and there are “challenges associated with electronic voting, which even so-called developed economies like the US are still grappling with”. Home affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma recently hinted at the possibility of e-voting becoming a reality. She said the commission was putting together a study on the possible use of electronic voting.
Full Article: IEC ponders e-votes | ITWeb.