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eGovernment Forschung | eGovernment Research 2001 - 2017

Only 34% of Africans think that votes are "always" counted fairly, according to the Afrobarometer report released in September 2016. However, electronic voting in Namibia in 2014 has had a positive effect on fairness perception among voters in that country.

Several African countries have been battling with the idea of having full electronic voting. Countries like Kenya, Ghana and Senegal have introduced the use of electronic systems in voter registration, voter identification and electronic relay of vote tallies, but not fully implemented digital voting.

Even though this is encouraged, experts believe a lot needs to be done to establish electronic voting in most countries.

Rasheeda Yehuza, co founder of Ghanaian startup JustElect, established to promote electronic voting, suggests that trust is one of the hindering factors in implementing e-voting. The platform implements electronic voting, currently in learning institutions in Ghana.

"The main setback will be related to trust. Which begs the question, if we can allow election officers we don't trust (to) handle elections, what wrong could we do in allowing an unattended automated machine handle the election process? We are building a system where people can trust election results at every level," Yehuza told ITWeb Africa.

Security of the systems is also something that contributes to the lack of trust. The JustElect platform has put in place security systems including two factor authentication for voters, encrypted polling, and cloud data backup as a model for larger polls.

Kenya-based IT consultant Tom Makau says that infrastructure would also play a role in deciding if a country is ready for electronic voting.

"I don't think we are ready. We lack robust infrastructure to do this. A roadmap would be to first enable proper electronic government. What we are calling e-government currently is simply the moving of manual processes online as-is to shift printing costs from GoK to the citizen," said Makua.

"An example is passport application which is touted as online but what it does is only make you incur paper and printing costs. Once we understand proper e-gov that links all gov registration, service delivery, and biometric identification then we can move ahead and have electronic voting," he continued.

JustElect hopes that in the future they will be able to conduct nationwide scale polls and introduce electronic voter machines which will be physically supervised by representatives of government or electoral authorities.

Eventually, government and institutional shift in policy to adopt e-voting by including all stakeholders would aid in successful implementation.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Vincent Matinde

Quelle/Source: ITWeb Africa, 23.01.2017

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