’It Is Our Job to Protect Information of Voters’

The Electoral Commission of Namibia says it will be jeopardising the safety of voters if it was to provide political parties with a provisional voters’ roll that is not in a protected format.

“This is a full database that can even be used for commercial purposes because you have someone’s full name, age, residential address and so forth. We encrypted this data so that nobody can cut and paste it, print or create their own database but I can assure everyone that it is a fetch-able database in an alphabetical format where you can get the exact details that you are looking for,” said ECN Acting Director for Elections, Theo Mujoro.

He said granting unlimited access to the collected data could jeopardise the integrity of information as it could be tampered with for other purposes. He added that the ECN in the past presented the roll in PDF format with no complaints. “We have already detected 1400 duplicate registrations on the provisional voter register. We could not remove them before making the provisional voter register because we had to present our findings without any modifications,” said Mujoro.

Mujoro said corrections and modifications to the provisional voters’ roll would be made when the period for inspection and objection of the register comes to an end on April 30.

“We can assure the nation that nobody will vote twice because there are security measures in place to prevent that. For those who registered more than once, we have the capacity to cancel one registration by discontinuing one of the voter cards. Therefore, if such a person comes to the polling station with the invalid card, heshe will not be able to vote because their names will not appear on the voters’ roll,” Mujoro explained.

As for political parties who are decrying the format in which the provisional voters’ roll has been presented and claiming that they cannot check for duplications on the register, Mujoro said: “It is our duty as the ECN to check for duplicates, not the political parties.”

“We were prepared to provide the provisional voters’ roll in hard copy and the political parties complained, but we provided it in PDF format but they are still complaining … we will not allow them to create their own database,” vowed Mujoro.

The final voter register will be gazetted next month. The general registration of voters took place from January 15 to March 2 2014.

Source : New Era