STRANGE NUMBERS Part 2 – The ‘Other’ number


Days after the ‘final’ elections results had been declared the numbers on the results website just didn’t add up … until they suddenly did.


The ‘final’ results of the 27 November 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections were ‘announced’ on the evening of Saturday, 30 November 2019, even though all constituency results were not reported at that time.

Days later, some of the headline numbers on the home-page of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) elections results website – – still didn’t make sense.

Shortly after midday on Wednesday, 4 December 2019, Namibia Fact Check queried a specific figure on the National Assembly results table (image below) on the ECN results website.

When we added up the numbers as presented in the results table above, the total came to 796 063 votes, which was 24 164 votes less than the 820 227 (image below) reported by the ECN.

However, when we clicked on the red “All Parties” button at the bottom, right of the results table and and added up all the individual results in the complete dropped-down table (image below), then the combined results of the political parties below the All Peoples Party (APP) equaled 77 104 votes.

The difference between the “Other” 52 940 and the 77 104 was exactly 24 164 votes. What was puzzling about all this was that it seemed clear that the numbers on the ECN results website didn’t seem to speak to each or be connected. Namibia Fact Check of course queried all this on its social media pages (image below), inviting the ECN to clarify the situation.   

The ECN at first denied that there was a problem with the numbers, but then acknowledged on a related Twitter thread (image below) that there was a problem and stated “Will fix it”.

And then shortly after 2 pm on 4 December 2019, the table on the ECN home page was changed to reflect the following, correct “Other” number.

To date the ECN has not explained how this discrepancy happened and why the website was not configured in a way that would’ve picked up the incongruous numbers.