Gaborone — The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it's all systems go for the 2019 general elections scheduled for tomorrow (October 23).
Over 924 000 registered voters are expected to head to 2 296 polling stations across the 57 constituencies, to partake in the country's 12th general elections.
Speaking in an interview, IEC public relations officer Mr Osupile Maroba assured the nation that the organisation and other relevant stakeholders had left no stone unturned in ensuring that the upcoming general elections ran smoothly with minimal challenges.
IEC, he said, had put in place strict measures in all the 490 polling districts to deal with any hiccup that could jeopardise the election process. Mr Maroba pleaded with the public not to read too much into the challenges experienced during the advanced poll conducted on October 19.
He said the advance poll progressed well and concluded as scheduled except for a few stations where voting continued until the early hours of Sunday.
The poll started slowly and progressively improved with some polling areas experiencing large turnouts which led to continuous long queues, he said.
Mr Maroba said the high turnout, Mr Maroba said, led to voting continuation beyond 1800 hours to assist all voters who had arrived long before closing time.
He said the use of constituency election rolls contributed to more time being taken on locating voters on the roll while a few polling areas experienced shortage of ballot papers; a situation which was successfully addressed through fetching from areas with surpluses.
"The IEC was expecting 24 000 advanced voters but the number was not equally divided per polling area, hence the IEC was not in a position to equally allocate ballot papers as per voters in specific polling stations," he said.
Mr Maroba said Tati West constituency, particularly in the Masunga polling areas, were mostly affected by shortage of ballot papers.
Polling and police officers who could not cast their vote last Saturday would be given the opportunity to do so during the general poll, he explained.
All constituency ballot boxes, he explained, would be kept sealed in safe custody to be opened only during counting after the close of polls on October 23. Local government election ballots would be distributed according to polling districts as per the labels on the sealed envelopes and counted in the same manner as the constituency ballots.
Source : BOPA