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BDP must digitalise voting process

The past weekend marked the climax of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) 36th elective congress, culminating in the much talked about central committee election.

While voting went without the usual incidents, it is the long dragging process that have become a worrying factor; the begging for urgent polling changes to save the party time and money.

To put the matter into perspective, the voting was scheduled to start at 8am Saturday and every one seemed to expect the whole process to have been concluded by 4pm. As it turned out, the process dragged on for 18 hours, and it was already 2am, by the time Jagdish Shah was pronounced the new BDP deputy treasurer. Even then, it was far from over, as BDP members and observers had to painfully go through the wait for the election of additional members.

The delays appear to be everywhere from nominations announcement, endorsement, allocation of numbers to the voting delegates to cast their ballots in sequential order. One after the other, they were called to cast their votes, a process that drags for over two hours for just one post. Then there is verification process, which is also laborious,

followed by counting, and at times re-counting.

In actual fact what is taking the BDP a good 23 hours, could be perfectly achieved in a matter of 30 minutes or less with the adoption of a digitised or computerised voting platform--where delegates can each vote for their candidate and the results are instantly known. This solution can save time considering the mental and physical drain the current system effect on the more than 5000 crowd who have to brave the cold, fatigue and all manner of torture to get the central committee election results.

Actually, the amount of hours spent during the BDP elections equate to nearly three working days, assuming that a working day is made up of eight hours. Now we are talking lots of stress, inconvenience, whose consequences manifest in road mishaps as thousands of fatigued individuals make their journey back to base stations. The positives that can be derived from a better solution to manage this nightmare are countless, and let it be now, democrats.




Flogging a dead horse

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