Three days after the second local government elections, we are yet to get the final or the real results of what the election commission said was a “historic” achievement.
What we see is gross incompetency. Officials concerned must be called to answer.
When the people do not get election results even after three days, there is a problem. Constituents feel cheated. It’s only natural that people lose trust in the ways elections are conducted, especially when they get conflicting results. And this is not healthy for a young democracy like ours.
Some polling stations had problems with electronic voting machine. The problems were addressed later, said Chief Election Commissioner. But voters had to be called again when it was found that the electronic voting machine simply wouldn’t show the numbers.
This happened in Dangreybu Ngagang chiwog in Dophuchen, Samtse. It also happened in Atola in Mongar.
Electronic voting machines are known to be not completely reliable. That’s why the very countries that produce the machines do not use them during elections. There are flaws with the machines; we cannot play with elections. This could have serious implications in the future.
Why not paper ballot system that many countries prefer to electronic voting machines? Ballots could be counted again if need be and there is little space for manipulation. It is time our election commission explored other more effective and efficient methods of registering and counting votes.
We were told a day later that some old and new sets of the electronic voting machines were mixed up due to human error, and so the problems with the election result. At best this is a lame justification from the commission. We, the constituents, deserve a better and more credible answer than this.
For a small country like ours, messing with elections will be costly. The real danger is that the people will lose confidence in the very system that is called democracy. We can ill afford to let that happen.
We cannot accept complacency and incompetency. Let this be a lesson for us all.