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Confusion over who can, can’t vote

2020-01-16  Eveline de Klerk

Confusion over who can, can’t vote

WALVIS BAY – Confusion reigned yesterday at Walvis Bay where some residents had to be turned away from polling stations as they were not eligible to vote in the local by-election. Some were under the impression that voting was open to everyone. 

Many residents complained to New Era that the Electoral Commission of Namibia, according to them, had not conducted a comprehensive voter education ahead of yesterday’s by-election. 

One of the voters, Ellen Geingos, was unhappy because she could not cast her vote despite residing in Walvis Bay Urban constituency.  She was stopped at the door by the police as her voter’s card clearly stated that she is from Walvis Bay Rural constituency.  

“Apparently my voter’s card is wrong, but I stay in the urban constituency,” an agitated Geingos said. 
The presiding officer at the Kuisebmond community hall, Clouded Neis, said they also had to turn away voters with old voter’s cards and others who were simply not eligible. 

Apart from that, presiding officer at the De Duine Secondary School, Rashidah Madisia, said the process at her polling station was rather slow. Only about 30 people had voted by lunchtime while about 500 had voted at the Kuisebmond community hall. 

Mobile polling stations also visited the Walvis Bay correctional facility where less than 100 inmates cast their vote.  

ECN coordinator for Erongo Amos Nguaiko told New Era that no other major problems were experienced at polling stations. 

All four constesting candidates – Knowledge Ipinge, Kennedy Iilonga, Richard Hoaeb and Swapo’s Sirie Topulathana – voted in the morning at the Kuisebmond community hall.

2020-01-16  Eveline de Klerk

Tags: Erongo
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