Opinion and Analysis
Why we must eliminate electoral fraud
Posted Sunday, August 19 2012 at 17:09
After the 2007/08 post election mayhem, one young man I met recounted his voting exploits to colleagues. He said: “You mean you people voted only once? Where I voted, the presiding officer was so good. As one went out, he would be asked whether he wanted to vote again”.
“When he asked me, I told him I’d be happy to vote again and he allowed me back. So I went back in and voted again and again until I got tired and left”.
I shook my head in wonder and frustration. I realised that this young man was totally naïve to the fact that he’d committed multiple crimes.
He too was naïve to the very philosophy of voting.
The need to determine our leadership through popular vote and not through exaggerated multiple endorsements of our preferred candidates.
He also helped me to understand the intriguing poll returns in excess of one hundred per cent recorded at several polling centres.
If you recall, the 2007 vote tallies returned several results suggesting that there had been more people turning out to vote than were registered.
It’s curious enough to record 100 per cent turn out. It’s absolutely ridiculous to record anything beyond one hundred per cent.
But the young man’s story made it easy to figure how.
Those who had faithfully voted once and thought that everyone else did found it difficult to comprehend such results.
For the above reasons, I easily reconciled with Kriegler’s now famous refrain that “it wasn’t possible to determine who had legitimately won the 2007 presidential election from the facts available”. He meant well.
Having perhaps heard accounts such as the above, how could he? And this is why we must be wiser as we head to the next general election. I am happy this matter is being accorded its due attention and priority.
Our 2007/08 presidential election poll results saga badly blotted our history and the confusion and chaos that informed it should never be repeated. Avoidable deaths and destruction visited us. And the Kriegler Commission helped to lay bare the weaknesses that informed it.
We had challenges with our voter register, which was said to contain about 1.2 million dead voters.
This register also excluded about a third of the eligible voters, particularly women and youth. There were anomalies in the delimitation of boundaries, which fundamentally undermined the “one man one vote” democratic principle.