The layout of the voting booths for the second round of the presidential election will be changed, to address voter concerns, the Elections Commission (EC) has confirmed. Unlike previously, the voting booths in this year’s first round of the presidential election had been set up so that observers and monitors could see voter movements, with some voters thus questioning the secrecy of the process.

EC Vice President Ismail Habeeb, speaking to local media today, said that the layout of the polling booths has been changed after considering first round complaints. Privacy screening on all sides will be increased and the booth will feature a recess, allowing voters to step in, in order to ensure secrecy, he said. However, the booths will still be placed so that observers and monitors can see voter movements.

“The layout of the booth will be changed. Additionally a backing board will be placed on top [of the voting area] which will make it easier to mark [the ballot slip]. The pens will be new,” Habeeb said.

EC is also recruiting and training more officials to expedite the polling process. In the second round the commission expects to have two officials issuing ballot papers at stations where more than 500 are registered while additional officials will be deployed to manage queues.

“There are quite good officers in the reserve pool. We have been recruiting and training officers since yesterday,” Habeeb said.