Four good things about yesterday’s elections:

1. Because there is now opposition in many locations unlike in previous years, ballot boxes could not have been stuffed in favour of whichever party was the local favorite. (Not everywhere of course)

2. INEC did well by having the ballot papers signed and stamped by the Presiding Officers at the venues. This did lead to increased delays but it would have made it a little more difficult to re-import any stolen ballot papers.

3. The card readers kept track of accredited voters so everyone knew the maximum number of votes to expect. But of course, this would only have mattered in places where the electorate was vigilant and played a greater part than just casting their individual votes.

4. Information being available ahead of the elections (to those that cared to be informed) meant we were able to assure people that voting would go on late into the night if necessary so there was no need to panic. Generators, bulbs, wire, petrol and engine oil were quickly arranged and powered up before dark

INEC could have done better to train the electoral officers in optimization of time but in places where there were active citizens that could communicate with the officers positively, things were turned around for the better before long. I had also expected that *every* polling unit would have methylated spirit and cotton wool as part of their kit after the reports that cleaning fingers with spirit helped during the card-reader test runs across the country. I guess active citizens shouldn’t just “expect”, we should have “suggested” that it be done.

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