WINDHOEK – Incidents of dysfunctional electronic voting machines (EVMs) including flat EVM batteries delayed voting in Windhoek in the general election on Wednesday, which compounded the long queues at polling stations.
Speaking to New Era some presiding officers acknowledged that some faulty EVMs had caused problems. However, they said the problems were soon rectified and that polling went according to plan despite the glitches.
In one instance the EVM at the International University of Management (IUM) polling station started beeping continuously without even being touched.
According to the presiding officer the EVM is only supposed to make a beeping sound after a voter has registered their vote. However, the technicians were informed and they simply needed to reboot the machine.
A machine at the Otjomuise open space polling station was also malfunctional, where the presiding officer Vilitestar Devahoma confirmed that a long queue caused by the faulty EVM had agitated some voters.
“The reason we have a long queue is that we started a little bit late because we had technical issues with the EVM but now everything is sorted out and the process is up and running,” explained the presiding officer.
The EVM at Osona military base near Okahandja stopped functioning for close to an hour. A presiding officer said a button was not working. The problem was however rectified when they received another machine from Ovitoto settlement, which is about 40 kilometres away.
Voters at Greenwell community hall were also agitated and complained about long queues because of technical issues with the EVM.
However, at Augustineum High School and 107 open space polling stations in Khomasdal voting was delayed because the presiding officers only allowed one queue and mostly concentrated on disabled people, expectant mothers and elderly citizens being allowed to vote before others.
Laban Reen the presiding officer at 107 open space polling station said the situation was rectified by introducing a second queue.