Friday, December 4, 2020

How secretive was the BFA ballot?

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) election train has long passed, but the rails are still as hot as ever.

Following the closely fought elections, a major fallout now seems to be on the cards. Two losing candidates have already launched appeals, seeking a fresh vote.

Among issues of discontent are allegations that the ballot was not secretive as it should have been, while another is that elections were bought.

While a secret ballot was used, questions are now being asked as to whether this was really a secretive ballot or not.

For those who promised to vote one way and voted the other, knives are now out as their identities were known even during the election count.

Speaking in an interview, one delegate said the voting ballots were made in such a way that people could know how everyone voted.

“Every ballot paper was numbered for better identification. The delegates were also listed in the same order,” one delegate explained.

According to the delegate, with their names corresponding to the numbers in the ballot papers and in the list, it was easy for people to know how each voted.

“This defeated the purpose of the secret ballot. It killed the secrecy of a person’s vote,” he said.

This was also corroborated by one observer who said the whole secret ballot process was compromised.

The observer said it therefore came as no surprise when social media was awash with the names of who had voted for or against the current regime.

The same sentiments are shared by one campaigner, who declared the elections would have been difficult if the delegates were assembled at the same venue.

“Had these elections been held at a single venue and all delegates were there, we could have lost the elections,” the campaigner declared.

He went on to claim that this helped a lot, more especially when the elections were going for a re-run.

“I believe that having a small number of voting delegates in one place helped a lot as we were then able to identify those who had not voted us. This helped us in the re-run,” the campaigner declared.

For one losing candidate, who also happened to be a delegate, the small number meant he could easily identify those who had voted for or against him.

“As a candidate, the small number of voting delegates meant I could easily know who had voted for me or against me,” one candidate said.

The delegate, who commented on condition of anonymity said having lost the elections, he could now start campaigning to unseat those administrators who had voted against him as he knew them.

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