IEC reminds voters not to take photos of marked ballot papers

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The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has reminded voters that taking photographs of marked ballot papers is prohibited. Voting in the 2021 local government elections is continuing across the country.

IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini says over 99% of voting stations opened on time with 3.5 million people having already voted by midday. He was providing an update on the progress of election day.

“The voters must have their ID documents with them and they are reminded that each ballot paper must be stamped on the reverse. Please make sure that you check your ballot paper if it has been stamped at the back. The voters are reminded that it is prohibited to take photographs of a marked ballot paper. This is really essential to protect the secrecy and integrity of the vote,” says Mashinini.

LGE 2021 I Analysis from Dr Collette Schulz-Herzenberg on election day

Meanwhile, the IEC in the Free State says it is alarmed following reports that certain voting stations in Bloemfontein did not adhere to COVID-19 health protocols.

Some of voters in the Free State capital took to social media platforms, complaining about lack of screening and sanitisers.

Free State IEC electoral manager Itumeleng Liba says they have dispatched their teams at the affected stations. So far, more than 40 000 people have cast their ballots at the more than 1 400 voting stations across the province.

Liba says the safety of the voters is of paramount importance.

“The complaint is that at Peter Swarts there’s no sanitisation, but what we are trying to establish is the name of the voting station and we will immediately find out what is happening and ensure that is remedied immediately. That is a direct violation of the COVID-19 regulations,” says Liba.

LGE 2021 I Political Analyst Khanyi Magubane on election day in South Africa