Namibia’s Ruling Party Is Winning Africa’s First Electronic Vote

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Namibians voted from early Friday in Africa’s first electronic election that is expected to see the country’s ruling party extend its 24-year rule as people in the country seek stability in the face of a global commodities downturn. Reuters report:

Despite an 11th hour challenge from the opposition over the lack of a paper trail from electronic voting, the election commission is using about 4,000 voting machines for the presidential and parliamentary vote instead of paper ballots.

In the booth, voters will find a gray electronic device with pictures or logos of the candidates and a green button next to each one. Instead of marking a cross on paper, voters will select their choice by pressing the button.

While there is no history of electoral fraud, unlike in many of its neighbors, logistical problems in the sparsely populated country meant the results from the vote in 2009 took a week. The election commission has this time promised them within 24 hours.

More than 1.2 million people are eligible to vote in one of Africa’s healthiest economies, where the former liberation movement turned governing party has maintained its support – though dissent is growing over inequality and a lack of housing.

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