I welcome the statement made by Gecom Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally that the results of the general and regional elections could be delivered by the next day of the elections. This is most reassuring, since any delay in announcing the results within an acceptable time frame gives rise to all manner of suspicions and conspiracy theories which could serve to undermine the integrity of the elections.
Advances in communication technology make it possible to have results declared within hours of the close of polling. It is therefore not unreasonable to expect results within a day of the actual close of poll. I think that Gecom should avoid declaring results in a piecemeal and partial manner, and provide instead the public with a full and comprehensive tabulation of the final results.
I recognise there are several challenges and logistical difficulties in declaring results as quickly as the electorate would like to have them. I also am of the view that the accuracy and integrity of the results must at no time be sacrificed on the altar of expediency. Time, however, will always be of the essence and any mechanism that could be used to shorten the interval between the close of poll and the declaration of the results without compromising the integrity of the election results would be appreciated.