2021 local elections may be done online – IEC

Chief Electoral Officer of the Electoral Commission Sy Mamabolo during a press briefing at the IEC ROC, 9 May 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Due to the lockdown restrictions, 37 by-elections have been postponed, making any type of traditional election campaigning and voting difficult.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) is looking into the online voting process for next year’s municipal elections due to the uncertainty of how long the coronavirus pandemic will last.

IEC head Sy Mamabolo said it may be an ideal opportunity to finalise policy discussions about an online voting process, as reported by EWN.

He said now was the right time to look at alternative electronic ways to conduct elections. Up for consideration is for political parties to adapt to digital campaigning, social distancing at voting stations, and have voters and voting stations sanitised frequently.

Due to the lockdown restrictions, 37 by-elections have been postponed, making any type of traditional election campaigning and voting difficult.

“It’s a very complex, detailed discussion that we require in the country involving parliament, political parties and primary stakeholders. We will look at what is the appropriate system and it is a long-term policy discussion, it is not going to be resolved in the immediate.”

(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)

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