It’s all systems go with everything in place and the first votes in the 2016 municipal elections will be cast on Monday, according to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
The IEC will start with the casting of special votes from 8am, the IEC said in a statement.
“The commission has put in place all the necessary measures and is confident that the process will go smoothly. Officials of the commission will be visiting and assisting all people who have applied to be visited at their place of residence.”
The logistical arrangements for special votes had been completed and the necessary materials had been delivered to their respective places, including about 153 000 ballot boxes, 133 000 voting booths, 1.8 million A4 pages of the voters’ roll to provide a copy of the segment of the voters’ roll for each voting station, 60 tons of stationery to voting stations, and 45 000 large banners to mark voting stations.
Altogether 73.9 billion ballot papers were printed for delivery to the 22 612 voting stations. The ballot papers included 4 649 unique ballot papers representing political parties and independent candidates contesting each municipality and each ward, the IEC said.
“The exercise of delivering voting materials to the voting stations was concluded over the weekend. The officials of the commission have, over the past few days, procured sites where these materials would be securely kept for utilisation on voting day.
“Thus far, only one incident involving theft of ballots appears for Ward 39. The police as well as commission officials acted swiftly to deal with this situation. The stolen ballot papers where quarantined and black-listed using their serial numbers. New ballot papers using different security features have already been printed and dispatched to the correct voting stations,” the IEC said.
Special votes would be cast between 8am and 5pm on Monday and Tuesday. A record 719 222 applications for special votes were granted for the 2016 municipal elections. These applications included 315 597 or 44% of home visits and 403 625 or 56% of all applications. The special vote process would also provide the commission with an opportunity to test its system ahead of the elections on Wednesday.
“The commission has been working very closely with law enforcement agencies and is confident that the electoral process will be smooth. The commission wishes to urge all South Africans to go out in great numbers to cast their vote in these elections.
“The electoral process provides voters with a platform to express their will by electing individuals that they believe will best represent their interest,” the IEC said.
– African News Agency (ANA)