Recently the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) pressed on with its otherwise progressive initiative to have their next General Elections process undertaken via electronic voting.
On paper this should have been an easily highly welcome development for the simple reason that electronic voting would hopefully reduce time taken to release the results.
The last General elections results announcement was the slowest process by far, as it took over three days, and over four days in some constituencies to announce the results, all thanks to the archaic method which has no doubt now been overtaken by events.
While Electronic Voting would naturally appeal to anyone who wants a speedy and reliable, and authentic process, such an alternative should give everyone concerned peace of mind that the new alternative would not be susceptible to manipulation by a sitting government especially, for purposes of retaining power.
Any alternative will have to be free from controversies lest it taint the image of our electoral process. In fact, we did not need the opposition to blow the trumpet on the vulnerability of the proposed electronic voting by our IEC.
The opposition’s protest against this specific electronic voting machines adopted by our IEC looks more and more genuine by the day, in the process, exposing the very same IEC, as an entity that does not seem to care about its image in the eyes of the international community.
In the end the IEC’s alternative voting platform, has not only painted them in bad light, but as the controversy dragged on, the allegations of plans for rigging extended to other strategic agencies of government, further tainting their image as corrupt.
From the seat of SADC, and from one of the most stable democracies, in Africa and the world, surely we expect our IEC to be an active player in voter education, more especially in matters such as the choice of the appropriate electronic voting platform for Botswana.