LETTER: At least 9 more work stations needed to meet 25-day timeline

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A ballot box during the recount. [Photo taken from Facebook Page of Shaz Ally]
Dear Editor,

There are 2339 ballot boxes to be counted. Approximately 93 boxes (2339/25) must be processed per day to complete the recount in 25 days. Up to day 5, only 211 boxes were processed by GECOM. This gives a daily average of approximately 42 boxes per day, which is less than 50 per cent of the required 93 boxes that must be counted to conclude the exercise in 25 days. At the current rate, the recount can take as long as 55 days, more than double the time initially agreed by GECOM.

Based on my calculations, the recount can be completed within one month by adding more work stations. On average, each workstation processed approximately ten boxes per day. Therefore, to bring the total boxes per day to 93, at least nine more work stations will be required. Initially, the PPP had proposed 20 work stations to accelerate the process, but only ten was agreed to by GECOM.

Alternatively, the time wasted on addressing unsubstantiated queries should be minimised if GECOM wishes to complete the recount in the shortest possible time with the same number of work stations. Based on my observations, half of the time is wasted on addressing unsubstantiated queries intended to delay the counting process and ultimately discredit the results from the recount. The boxes processed could have been doubled by merely reducing the time utilised for queries that do not add any value to the exercise.

Already, the nation has waited too long for the results. GECOM has a moral and professional responsibility to at least stick to the 25-day timeline. Increasing the number of days for the recount is not a healthy option. The long wait for the results has eroded the sanity of many people. It is, therefore, important that GECOM does its best to bring an end to these elections as soon as possible. Adding more work stations or reducing the time wasted to address unsubstantiated queries can help in this regard.

With regards,

S Pasha