DRC: Concerns over voting machines grow ahead of election

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Concerns over the use of voting machines in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) upcoming presidential election are mounting ahead of the vote.

Opposition figures and supporters have condemned the use of voting machines in the election, arguing they could be used to commit vote fraud. Last week, 7,000 of the machines were destroyed in a fire started by unknown arsonists and violence between security forces and opposition supporters has killed multiple people while injuring dozens.

Concerns grow ahead of elections

On Sunday, more than 40 million people in the DRC will take to the polls, using thousands of voting machines which are being used in the country for the first time. Many people in the country have never used a smartphone and voters have received no training ahead of the vote, meaning they’ll simply have to turn up and vote on the day.

The main concern among opposition members is the possibility the machines could be used to rig the election.

The country’s electoral process insists the South Korean voting machines will make it faster for people to cast their votes and the commission to determine the result in Africa’s second-largest country. However, the logistic challenge of installing 105,000 machines across 80,000 polling stations is only made worse by the poor quality of road systems in the DRC and the country’s worst Ebola outbreak in its history.

Featured image: By MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32468846

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.