Botha and Dippenaar both acknowledged that this system improved the voting process. Dippenaar explained that the e-voting system makes the voting process easier in terms of logistics. He said that it is “safe and secure and it’s auditable”. Although the long-term goal of an e-voting system is to give students the opportunity to vote from anywhere, the current system would have required students to go to assigned voting stations on campus. Instead of making a mark on a ballot paper, students would have cast their vote on laptops at these stations. When asked about the disadvantages of the e-voting system, Dippenaar identified public perception as a problem. He said that “the biggest disadvantage of using the e-voting system is convincing the public that it’s safe … and more convenient”.
While this system seems to have had a positive response from students who have used it and from those involved in bringing it to campus, the question of why it has been postponed has been raised. Although he confirmed the postponement, Dippenaar did not provide reasons for this decision.
One concern with the e-voting system was the cost involved. The e-voting system’s costs consist of the annual licensing fee, the availability of the system, and the laptops. The annual licensing fee is R65 000 and the availability of the system ranges from R365 per request to R4380 per annum. Dippenaar said that the cost was justified by the use of laptops, which are roughly two-thirds the cost of printing ballot papers. Dippenaar went on to say that “This annual licensing fee that we pay is not only limited to the SRC elections.”
Mine Vorster, president of Daso, commented that, “Daso would support any system that makes it easier for a student to cast their vote, but we are concerned about the cost implications surrounding the e-voting system.”