The National, Tuesday 10th July, 2012
THE 2012 general election is being held amid widespread reports of flawed common rolls and other issues.
Many people have criticised the Electoral Commission (EC) for failing to update the roll.
In response, the EC has stated that some people simply failed to check their names when the preliminary rolls were displayed.
The EC claimed that ample time was given for people to check and for the necessary changes to be made but many did not do so.
This caused the general election to be very chaotic simply because many people were denied their democratic right to vote.
In some areas, a significantly high number of eligible voters were turned away from polling stations.
For those areas, the election outcome could be different had the voters cast their votes.
This raises the issue of whether the election outcome would be a result of a democratic process because many eligible voters did not vote.
It was unfair to the voters who could not vote.
In order to rectify this problem, voters must cooperate with the EC and confirm their names within the period given.
The elections have also been affected by logistic problems, security issues and non-payment of wages
to polling officials, among others.
Given this experience, it is crucial for the EC and other supporting stakeholders, including the police and defence force, to get together for a post-mortem and plan properly for future elections.
In order to deliver a free, fair and transparent election, every individual and organisation involved in the process should work together and act responsibly.
This includes the EC, stakeholders, candidates, their supporters and the voting public.
It requires a concerted effort from everyone and we should all take a leaf from this year’s election and do better in the 2017 elections.
Kiunga, Western province