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Glitch holds up results

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According to the IEC map of voting districts captured, it also showed outstanding results in the Umsobomvu district.

Picture: Danie van der Lith

DESPITE assurances earlier in the day that the Northern Cape election results would be available at lunchtime yesterday, by 6pm the IEC was still awaiting results from the Joe Morolong voting district.

IEC provincial electoral officer Bonolo Modise said the reason for the hold up in Joe Morolong was a system collapse at the voting station which prevented votes from being captured on the system and audited.

“When we were made aware of the problem, we sent out an IT team to try and assist. However, a decision was taken to rather send ballot papers to the Ga-Segonyana voting station to be captured there,” Modise said.

Modise said that this was the only outstanding voting district. However, according to the IEC map of voting districts captured, it also showed outstanding results in the Umsobomvu district.

“That is just because the presiding officer has not scanned the voting receipt into the system,” Modise explained.

He added that what delegates and the public were seeing on the results board would definitely change by the time the Joe Morolong district was declared. “Some parties will be happy, others not so happy,” he quipped.

Modise said besides the system glitch in Joe Morolong, there were no other major incidents reported to the provincial IEC office.

“We have been extremely lucky. Unlike some other offices around the country we have had no disputes lodged and nothing else reported to us.”

Modise said further that despite the initial skirmishes at the Holpan voting station everything went smoothly once the station opened. “At this particular station we had 381 registered voters of which 138 voted.”

When asked if those who were afraid to vote at the Holpan station on election day would be given another chance to cast their vote, Modise said “no”. “As you can see there was quite a good voter turnout at the station and it is only the commissioner who can decide to reopen the voting station.”

When questioned on the lower voter turnout in the Northern Cape compared to the 2014 general election, Modise said that he couldn’t attribute anything specific to the lower figure.

“Was it the rain? I don’t know. Was it because people were not interested in voting? I can honestly not say. We will have to wait for the analysts to tell us,” he said.

Modise said that throughout the past two days the delegates had remained happy and a congenial spirit prevailed. “Everybody has been happy but anxious waiting for the outstanding voting districts. A lot of my colleagues are tired but we have all remained upbeat.”

He said that, as the IEC, they are happy with how things have gone during this election.

“Did we have a good election as far as the IEC is concerned? Yes, we did. Did we capture all votes correctly? Yes, we did. Was the election free and fair? In my opinion – provincially speaking – yes, we did,” Modise concluded.