Home South African All systems go for elections, says IEC

All systems go for elections, says IEC

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IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo says everything is on track for this year’s national and provincial elections set to take place on May 29.

The IEC has declared its readiness to host the May 29 polls. Picture: Independent Newspapers

THE ELECTORAL Commission of SA (IEC) chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, says all is on track for this year’s national and provincial elections set to take place on May 29.

Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Mamabolo said Friday, May 17 will mark another milestone, with at least 76,580 out-of-country voters (those who will not be in South Africa on May 29) expected to vote in the elections.

The international segment of the voters roll for out-of-country voters has 56,698 voters, but the total expected to vote is 76,580.

London has the highest number of out-of-country voters this year, Mamabolo said.

He said around 160 organisations have signed up as observers in this year’s elections.

There are also measures in place to make voting more accessible for all South Africans, including those with special needs.

“Voting assistants will help those who require assistance on voting day. Working with the South African National Council for the Blind, we have developed a Universal Ballot Template (UBT), to increase chances of confidently and confidentially exercising their vote,” he explained.

Mamabolo said special votes within the Republic will take place on the two days preceding election day, May 27 and 28.

“The time of operations is 9am to 5pm. Following the May 3 deadline, the commission approved a total of 1,668,076 special votes applications, of which 624,593 are for voters who will be visited at their homes or places of confinement, and 1,043,483 voters who will vote at voting stations where they are registered,” he said.

Mamabolo stated that IEC staff are prepared and will be at all voting stations, as well as visiting the homes of those who are unable to visit the voting stations, to ensure that all those who have been granted special votes have a smooth voting experience.

“Party and independent agents will also accompany special votes staff and accredited observers,” he said.

Provincial and government elections explained:

In these elections, voters will receive three ballot papers: the National compensatory ballot for political parties, and Provincial and Regional for parties and independent candidates. Voters are requested to make only one mark per ballot paper.

Mamabolo said 202,500 voting officials are undergoing training, and they will work at the voting stations.

He explained that the addition of a new category of staff to assist the presiding officer with the counting effort marks a significant step towards improving the quality of counting.

“Three such staff are being appointed for each voting station and for each sub-station where a voting centre is being operated. To this end, a total of 191,185 have been appointed,” he said.

The National Results Centre will be launched on Wednesday, May 22 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg, and will house IEC members as well as key service providers, representatives of contestants running in national elections, domestic and international observer missions, and media organisations.

Registered voters can check their voting station ahead of election day by SMSing their ID number to 32810, using the voting station finder application on the IEC website, contacting the IEC contact centre on 0800 11 800 or via the IEC cellphone app.

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