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P66m needed for EVM paper trail

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) secretary, Keireng Zuze yesterday said they would need an extra P66 million to make an inclusion of paper trail on Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).

Zuze admitted before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that currently the law in the new amendment Act does not cater for paper trail.

MP for Tati East, Samson Guma said: “There is a report that during the national stakeholders workshop people were calling for introduction of EVMs and they wanted voter education first before the machines could be introduced. What has been the emergency by introducing EVM first and later try to educate people?”

 However, Zuze said they had submitted national stakeholder workshop reports to executive powers and it submitted it to Parliament.

“The politicians at Parliament could have advised the executive powers for voter education to be done first before the law could be passed. IEC is simply implementing the law,” Zuze said.

She agreed that there are things that need to be amended on the IEC Act for in case there is a query after elections or when elections are announced.

She continued: “For example the IEC commission feels it would be proper if the paper trail is included”.

Zuze further said IEC commission and national stakeholder workshops have not made recommendation that supplementary registration be abolished.  This was MP

for Selebi Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse who wanted to, they are the ones who made that recommendation, she said.

“In fact, the supplementary registration has been helping us to lure people to register for elections. That one was the decision for the executive powers not us,” she said. The IEC secretary said in terms of the law there was no need for a referendum because the new amendment does not affect the Constitution.

Specially elected MP, Bogolo Kenewendo wanted to know if there was a need for a referendum and what Batswana are saying.

 “But there was need for Batswana to have been taken on board. It is not the first time that we changed systems of voting. We changed from disc to ballot papers and we did not do a referendum,” IEC boss said.

Zuze said 52% of people had agreed with EVM at their national stakeholder meeting, but Kenewendo objected saying, “if you did not ask them if they agree with it or not then we cannot be sure going forward that we are on the same level with the people. That question was very important”.




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