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IEC reports minimal issues on Day 1 of special voting throughout SA

National Results Operations Centre for the 2024 elections
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The Electoral Commission says that it has experienced an insignificant number of challenges on the first day of special voting across the country.

The Commission briefed the media at the National Results Centre in Midrand on Monday as to the special voting process.

The IEC says it was able to open the majority of voting stations in the Eastern Cape in the face of protests which had nothing to do with elections.

It says of the 435 voting stations that experienced problems on Monday morning only 107 remained closed.

IEC updates on special votes:  

 

‘Ineptness’

Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Masego Shiburi says that the challenges that the IEC faced on the first day of special voting, must be seen in relation to the 22 600 voting stations administered by the Commission.

“While we report a good start to the start of special voting we must regrettably also indicate that there are areas where we are unable to operate not because of ineptness on the part of the Commission but that withstanding all our plans factors external to the electoral programme has meant that in 107 voting stations we have not been able to help voters the majority of voting stations are in the OR Tambo region due to the taxi strike in that area.”

Shiburi says that the IEC is working with the country’s security structures to have the 107 stations open on Tuesday.

Security features

The Commission has also explained the security features it has put in place with regards to special voting.

Shiburi says that the IEC has ensured that no citizen will vote more than once through the use of a special voting application or a Section 24 (A) application.

The Section 24 (A) application, the deadline for which was the 17th of May, allows voters to away from the voting station where they are registered on the 29th of May.

“In an event that a voter applies for a special vote more than once the second transaction will override the initial transaction similarly if a voter applies for a special vote and subsequent votes by section 24 (A), the section 24 (A) approval overrides the special vote that is granted that is in order to honour the constitutional and lawful requirement that a voter must only vote once in an election.”

Shiburi has also outlined the process that will take place after the special votes have been cast.

“The cast special vote will not be counted today they will only be counted with the rest of the ballots at the close of the station on the 29th of May this is so because the same verification that applies to ordinary ballots extends to special votes they will be reintroduced at the stations still in the special envelopes.”

Vote rigging

Meanwhile, the IEC also rejected a claim of vote rigging by the MK Party.

The claim relates to a video on social media showing ballot papers stored in a room at a warehouse in Hammersdale, KwaZulu-Natal which it is alleged was under the control of an unauthorised person in a yellow t-shirt.

The IEC says the video showed the Commission’s planned logistical arrangements and storage of election materials in preparation for special voting on Monday.

Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Mosery says law enforcement is looking into the incident.

“The incident on its own is still a matter of processing with ourselves as the commission as well as the police as to whether there will be criminal charges we will know in due course.”

The IEC has warned citizens of misinformation ahead of the second day of special voting and Voting day on Wednesday.

 

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