Home News IEC aims for 60% voter turnout in Northern Cape

IEC aims for 60% voter turnout in Northern Cape

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“There appears to be a lot of interest in this year’s local government elections, despite naysayers predicting that there would be general voter apathy.”

The IEC office in Kimberley. Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE ELECTORAL Commission of South Africa (IEC) is hoping to reach the target of a 60 percent voter turnout in the Northern Cape for the local government elections.

While voting initially got off to a slow start in Kimberley on Monday, the IEC noted long queues at various stations throughout the day.

IEC provincial electoral matters manager Elkin Topkin said that by around 3pm on Monday, 60,000 out of a total of 140,000 voters in the Province had already made their mark on the ballot papers.

“We are expecting a surge of voters to arrive at the polls after 5pm and a peak between 6pm to 7.30pm. There appears to be a lot of interest in this year’s local government elections, despite naysayers predicting that there would be general voter apathy. There were 40,000 out of 93,000 special voters who cast their votes over the weekend,” said Topkin.

He added that there were no major disruptions or incidents on voting day, apart from an unruly EFF party agent that had to be subdued by the police at a voting station at Yonder.

“There were long queues at the Kimberley Junior School voting station due to a voter management device that was malfunctioning. The device is able to verify a voter’s details and is able to detect whether the person has already cast a vote.

“Connectivity problems were experienced in Rietfontein on Saturday, where the power was cut.”

Topkin added that two voting station tents, which did not fulfil the specifications, collapsed in Carnarvon on Monday due to strong winds.

“We experienced some technical glitches that resulted in some voting stations opening late. At Phokwane Municipality some voting material was misplaced although it was later traced.

“A voting station in the Joe Morolong district opened later than expected as staff were escorted late to the venue.”

He also explained that the boundary of a voting station in Keimoes had to be extended after complaints were lodged that it was too near the ANC operations offices.

Topkin estimated that vote counting should be completed by late Tuesday afternoon.

“The first batch of results should start trickling in at around 11pm on Monday. The votes will be verified by independent auditors. Political parties will have 48 hours, until Wednesday at 9pm, to lodge any objections. Serious complaints such as incidents where voters were intimidated and were unable to vote, major anomalies that are detected between ballot papers and actual votes will be investigated by the IEC.”

Topkin stated that other than voters not observing social distancing in the queues, there were no major hiccups experienced with the IEC’s first large-scale Covid-19 election.

IEC provincial electoral matters manager Elkin Topkin. Picture: Danie van der Lith
Picture: Danie van der Lith
Picture: Danie van der Lith
Picture: Danie van der Lith

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