Original Research

The feasibility of electronic voting technologies in Africa: Selected case examples

Kealeboga J. Maphunye
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 15, No 1 | a621 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v15i1.621 | © 2019 Kealeboga J. Maphunye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 October 2018 | Published: 26 September 2019

About the author(s)

Kealeboga J. Maphunye, Department of Political Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The use of electronic voting technologies (EVTs) presents hurdles to election management bodies (EMBs) and other election stakeholders in Africa. The constitutionality and feasibility of such technologies provoke several questions that are tackled in this article. A key question is whether voting technologies such as electronic voting machines (EVMs) comply with national election legislation. The article’s methodology includes a review of the literature, official reports and policy documents, media and other articles, including public pronouncements on such technologies in Africa’s elections. These are supplemented by case examples of interviewees from selected African countries, including Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa and Botswana. Its main contention is that African countries should evaluate the constitutionality and legitimacy of EVTs before their use. Finally, it will conclude that any use of voting technologies that does not meet constitutional and legal obligations will render the outcome of elections thereof flawed or dogged by irregularities, with questionable legitimacy, as seen recently in a few African countries.

Keywords

Electronic voting technologies; legitimacy; e-literacy; constitutionality; electronic voting machines; information and communication technology.

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