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Botswana considers electronic voting

SHARE   |   Monday, 16 May 2016   |   By Solomon Tjinyeka
IEC spokesperson; Maroba IEC spokesperson; Maroba

A delegation from Botswana left for India on Saturday to benchmark on electronic voting system, as the country toys with the idea of introducing it in local elections. Representatives from IEC , MPs and Councillors form part of the delegation. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) spokesperson Osupile Maroba confirmed the development and said after the 2014 general elections stakeholders made recommendations on how to improve the electoral process in Botswana.
India is one of the countries that have fully implemented an electronic voting system. Maroba said the delegation will also meet the company which manages the electronic voting system and acquire knowledge on the system. Also in India, the delegation will have an opportunity to observe elections which will take place during the week.

When asked if Botswana will adopt the electronic voting system in the upcoming general elections in 2019, Maroba did not rule out the possibility but emphasised that the outcome will depend on the recommendations made by the delegation. He, however, pointed out that currently there is lack of legal framework to support electronic voting system in Botswana. “The electoral Act does provide for electronic voting and the law has to be amended for the country to adopt the model,” he said.

Maroba noted that if Botswana adopt an electronic voting it will follow the path of Namibia which is the first country in Africa to fully implement an electronic voting system in 2014 during its presidential and parliamentary elections. The decision to consider electronic voting is based on challenges experienced in using the manual system.