South Africa keeps democracy alive

South Africa keeps democracy alive

Over eight million South Africans had cast their votes at 23 148 voting stations as at 5pm, the Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Monday.

Giving an update on the progress on Election Day of the 2021 Local Government Elections, less than an hour before the polling stations closed at 9pm, IEC Commissioner, Dr Nomusa Masuku, said the Commission has noted reports from Commission’s call centre regarding some registered voters who couldn’t find their names on the voters’ roll.

Masuku said the voters’ roll has been updated and the Commission is attending and responding to complaints, as they are raised, and continues to communicate with the affected voters.

Masuku also reported that investigations have been conducted into the reported shortage of ballot papers in several voting districts.

“As pointed out earlier, there should be no shortage because the Commission procured 100% of the ballots needed. We are happy to report that the shortages from distribution issues have been resolved and the Commission continues to monitor voting station performance in this regard.

“The Commission also reassures voters that sufficient Universal Ballot Templates (UBTs) have been procured and there should not be shortages. Voters are encouraged to report shortages when experienced,” she said.

Masuku said the Commission, together with the South African National Council for the Blind, developed the UBT to assist persons with disabilities and special needs to have an independent and secret vote during elections.

Protests

Masuku said all 20 voting stations, which did not open in KwaZulu-Natal due to community protests, including 19 voting stations that did not open in the Eastern Cape due to civil unrest, were subsequently opened and were processing votes.

“The Commission has fixed tents that had been blown away by strong winds in the Free State and Northern Cape,” said Masuku.

She reiterated that voting will continue throughout until 9pm when voting stations close, and voters who are at the voting station or in a queue at the closing time, will be allowed to vote.

“Voters must have their ID documents with them and are reminded that each ballot paper must be stamped on the reverse. Voters are also reminded that it is prohibited to take a photograph of a marked ballot paper. This is essential to protect the secrecy and integrity of their vote.

“After voting stations close at 9pm and voters in the queues have voted, counting will begin. The first results are expected after midnight,” Masuku said. – SAnews.

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