The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it has already printed 31 million ballot papers for this year’s general elections and their delivery inside and outside the country is already under way.

Wednesday marks exactly 14 days to the country’s fifth democratic national and provincial election. More than 200 000 IEC staff have been recruited to ensure smooth elections. IEC Deputy Chairperson Terry Tselane says they are ready for the poll.

“We have a pool of electoral expertise used over many years. On quality of logistics we have done every little thing. We are done with production of ballot papers, in fact we have already sent ballot overseas to allow South Africans living overseas to vote on special vote.”

South Africans living overseas and have registered to vote and those registered locally for a special vote will cast their vote on the fifth and sixth of May.

Meanwhile, the IEC in the Free State has vowed to do everything in its power to avert logistical blunders it has experienced in the past elections. The situation was so dire that some of the voting stations ran out of ballot papers.

Provincial electoral officer Chris Mepha says, “Although this election is going to be very challenging, we are having control, we are leaving no stone unturned. We have no room for failure at this point in time. Where we will fail it’s only where there is God’s action, like if there are floods, especially in the eastern Free State.”

The Free State has more than 1.4 million voters. Just over 14 000 of them are the so-called born-frees.

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