WHILE a polling station-based voting procedure would seem logistically cumbersome because of longer queues, it is, however, the best way available to help stem vote-rigging.
Debate on this issue has been raging among political parties with some calling for polling station-based voting while others are calling for a ward-based voting procedure.
Proponents of ward-based voting argue that it would make voters feel more secure as they would go to any polling station of their choice in the same ward. They also argue that ward-based voting minimises cases of long queues. They also point to the fact that polling station-based voting would compromise the security of any voter as he/she may encounter his/her opponents, resulting in the possibility of violence during elections.
In a first-past-the-post electoral system the candidate who gets the most votes is automatically declared a winner. The ward-based voting procedure has its demerits in that one can vote more than once as they can go around the whole ward casting their ballot since the voting ink can be removed by simply cleaning one’s finger thoroughly.
The polling station-based procedure is better in that it eliminates the possibility of multiple-voting. It also helps enhance the polls’ credibility, as there would be no worry that some people may have voted more than once.
If the electorate is given an opportunity to vote in a polling station-based procedure, the poll results would really reflect the exact number of people who would have cast their votes. The polling station-based procedure would eliminate a situation where people go about inflating the number of voters.
Vote-rigging can only be curbed if all the political parties in the country come together and agree on the use of polling station-based voting.
A ward-based polling procedure must be scrapped in the next elections so that the results of the elections point to the real winner.