Voting continues at polling stations after 21h00 when polls were set to have closed

KEETMANSHOOP: Voting continued at all polling stations visited by Nampa in Keetmanshoop after 21h00 last night when polls were set to have closed. The southern capital had nine fixed polling stations.

The casting of votes proceeded on average for another two hours. Elsewhere in the region in places such as Lüderitz, Aroab, Berseba and Karasburg, voters remained in queues.

This situation seems to have prevailed throughout the country. Many polling stations opened later than 07h00 and delays were experienced particularly with the voter verification device.

Voter turnout was also speculated to be higher than in previous elections.

Director of Elections Paul Isaak yesterday urged all polling stations to remain open until all voters already in the queue had entered their votes.

By 06h00 on Saturday morning the Keetmanshoop Urban Constituency officials were yet to start counting all final figures submitted by the different polling stations.

The election officers at the Central Constituency Results Centre, the Keetmanshoop Show Hall, received voter devices, printed results and other sensitive materials throughout the night. (NAMPA)

WINDHOEK; Some 20 uniformed City Police officers were denied the right to vote during the Presidential and National Assembly elections at the Moses van der Byl Primary School polling station in the Katutura Central Constituency yesterday.

The officers who went to the polling station around 18h30 to cast their votes were allegedly turned away by the senior polling official at that polling station.

According to one of the officers, a polling official who refused to disclose her name or speak to Nampa, told them to join the back of the long queue outside the polling station because they had come late in the afternoon and should be joining the line like everyone else.

Nampa visited the polling station at 21h00, and found the officers were still standing in the queue outside the polling station, waiting to be given a chance to vote before they return to work.

When the Electoral Commission of Namibia’s (ECN) Public Relations Officer Vikitoria Hango was alerted about the incident, she said police officers were not supposed to stand in the queues because special provision had been made for them to vote quickly so that they can return to their law enforcement duties.

Hango made an effort to assist the officers but she was informed by the presiding officer for the Katutura Central Constituency that the officers were not to be given any special treatment and had to join the queues like all the other voters.

The officers eventually gave up and left that polling venue to try their luck at other polling stations, saying they have ‘never experienced this kind of treatment in past elections’.