IEC investigates non-use of envelopes at some voting stations

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The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it is investigating reports of instances of the double envelope system not being used in some special voting stations on Monday.

In order to protect the secrecy of the vote, all special votes are first placed in an unmarked envelope which is then inserted into a second envelope which is marked with the voting station and voter’s particulars for verification. The envelope is then placed in the ballot box or bag (home visits).

Some people reported that this was not process they experienced when they cast their special votes, raising questions about the integrity of the process.

Speaking at the IEC Results Operations Centre in Pretoria on Tuesday, Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo says they are investigating the matter and should something be found to be fishy, a decision may be made not to include those votes in the final count.

“The stamping of ballot papers immediately prior to them being issued to voters is an important security measure. Depending on the outcome of the investigation the Commission will make a decision on whether these votes are included in the count or not,” says Mamabolo.

Mamabolo says additional reminders of the importance of stamping ballot papers and of the double envelope system were sent to all Presiding Officers and Deputy Presiding Officers on Tuesday.

Other than a few hiccups, the IEC says it is satisfied with how the special votes have gone so far.

“Yesterday, everything started well and we carried that momentum into today,” says Mamabolo.

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