Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Botswana.

Botswana: Electoral Bill introduces electronic voting machine paper trail | Mmegi Online

“The Bill introduces (a) VVPAT printer to ensure that votes are supplemented by a permanent paper record of each electronic vote for purposes of auditing electronic ballots,” says the Bill presented by the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale. It further states that the introduction of VVPAT necessitated redrafting of the Amendment in order to synchronise the procedures for the EVM with the verification process provided by the VVPAT printer ballot slips. It will distinguish the EVM voting procedure from voting by ballot paper, while it retains other provisions such as registration of voters, preparation of rolls, deletion of supplementary rolls, assistance of voters by election officers and increase in penalties. Read More

Botswana: Electronic voting machine case drags on | Mmegi Online

The bare-knuckled fight over the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the 2019 general elections will go for final case management conference on November 6.  The case pits the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) against the Attorney General (AG), chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and secretary to the IEC respectively. BCP’s attorney, Gabriel Komboni told Mmegi that the AG has raised a point regarding the amendment of declaration and affidavit. “We filed our amended declaration and they objected. They want us to file another affidavit, but we think that does not make sense. Whatever they are complaining about is a matter of evidence that will be dealt with during trial,” said Komboni. Read More

Botswana: Congress Party in talks with electronic voting machine experts | Mmegi Online

Dumelang Saleshando told Mmegi on Monday as a follow-up question to the press conference that was held by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) on Saturday at Thapama Hotel here. The BCP is an official constituent member of the UDC as was confirmed by the UDC president, Duma Boko during the press briefing. “There are some people that we are talking to about the issue of EVMs. It is not necessary at this stage to state who those people are. We have not taken a decision that the people we are talking to will end up being our experts,” said Saleshando. Read More

Botswana: Bharat Electronics not part of Botswana EVM hackathon | Mathrubhumi News

Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) on Tuesday denied reports that has appeared in sections of media related to the EVM hackathon by Botswana Election Commission. In an official media communication directly from BEL Chairman M V Gowtama, BEL termed the news reports as ‘completely baseless and false.’ Reports have said that BEL would be participating in a demonstration-cum-hackathon of EVMs being organised by Botswana Election Commission on May 18. Read More

Botswana: Hackers invited to disrupt Botswana’s electronic voting machines | ITWeb Africa

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials have invited hackers to prove whether or not the country’s proposed electronic voting machine (EVM) system can be manipulated. The new voting system is expected to be used for the country’s next general election in 2019. The IEC, along with a team of experts from the system’s supplier Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) of India, will demonstrate how the EVM (with the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)) works, amid calls for the government to abandon the project. BEL is a state-owned company of India that produces EVM internationally known as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines because they record votes directly in electronic memory. Read More

Botswana: Political storm over electronic voting tech | ITWeb Africa

Botswana’s President Ian Khama has signed the Electoral Amendment Bill of 2016, a revision of the existing Electoral Act that paves the way for the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs) ahead of the country’s general elections in 2019. The government believes the move will lead to improvements covering the registration of voters and preparation of rolls, including deleting provisions for supplementary rolls. However, opposition parties are concerned about the development and claim EVMs are open to security breaches and manipulation. Read More

Botswana: Row over electronic voting machines in Botswana | The Southern Times

Political parties in Botswana are planning a demonstration to protest the introduction of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the upcoming general elections. The march, which will be held on 17 September in Gaborone, is being organised by the four opposition political parties; Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP). While the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) recently said that it was still to be consulted on the introduction of voting machine by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) it has not shown interest in joining the protest. Speaking on behalf of opposition parties recently, the BNF secretary-general, Moeti Mohwana, said they reject the use of EVM in 2019 elections, unless safeguards and audit trail accompany its use. Read More

Botswana: BCP proposes halting electronic voting | Mmegi Online

The resolution was taken at the party’s annual conference in Shakawe over the weekend. Yesterday, party spokesperson Dithapelo Keorapetse confirmed that the conference has mandated the central committee to engage government and delay the amendment of the electoral law pending full consultations with political parties as the key stakeholders. “The central committee of the party will advise itself on how to deal with the issue. Parliamentary and extra-parliamentary strategies such as peaceful protests and litigation will be explored,” said Keorapetse. Read More

Botswana: Indian company may grab electronic voting tender | Mmegi Online

Various stakeholders, including political parties, analysts and the media, joined Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials to sample the stand-alone electronic vote machine, which is expected to be debuted at the 2019 general elections. To avoid disruptions during the power cuts, the machines use batteries, and are not connected to a data network.  The portable and light machine allows a voter to first check if they have voted for a party of their choice before selecting a candidate by pressing a button. While several companies were invited to demonstrate their own voting machines yesterday, only Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) turned up, with analysts saying this placed the Indian company in poll position for the tender to supply the machines. BEL machines are already in use in Namibia, one of the few African countries using electronic voting. Read More

Botswana: What Botswana’s elections say about Africa’s postcolonial headache | The Week

Botswana, a tiny landlocked country north of South Africa, held an election over the weekend. The result was a victory for the incumbent, the Botswana Democratic Party, but by the narrowest margin in the country’s electoral history. It was an alarming campaign. As Amy Poteete points out at The Washington Post, the run-up to the election featured some extremely ugly politics, including the death of an opposition politician under mysterious circumstances and the alleged kidnapping and torture of others by the security apparatus. One journalist fearing for his life fled to South Africa, and his editor was charged with sedition. Nevertheless, the election itself appears to have been free of overt fraud. To folks unfamiliar with the region, all this may seem like typical African politics. But Botswana has always been the great exception to the rule. It is the only country in the entire continent to have had free and fair elections since the end of colonial rule. But it seems even Botswana is now dealing with the same sort of postcolonial troubles that have afflicted most other African nations. Read More