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Election results should be finalised in 24 hours, IEC says voter turnout not its fault

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The IEC is confident that 90% of the results will be finalised by Tuesday evening, while the balance is expected to take another 24 hours to complete.

Election officials count ballots after the closing of the local government elections. Picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

THE ELECTORAL Commission is confident that 90% of the voting results for the 2021 local government elections will be finalised by Tuesday evening, while the balance is expected to take another 24 hours to complete.

IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said this status was in line with the expected result capturing process.

Presenting an update on Tuesday morning from the IEC’s National Results Operation Centre (ROC) in Tshwane, Mamabolo said the Northern Cape had completed 74% of its results, followed by the Western Cape at 46%.

The rest of the provinces’ completion rate ranges between 15% and 37%, Mamabolo said.

The result capturing involves a number of processes including the verification of the result slips, the capturing, scanning and the auditing of the results. An independent audit firm has been procured for purposes of auditing the results.

Speaking about voter turnout, the IEC said it was important to realise that voter turnout was a “multifaceted phenomenon” influenced by different factors. Mamabolo said the turnout also related to disruptions to services and levels of trust in political institutions.

“The Commission would like to call upon all leaders of political parties to act and speak responsibly as the result collation process unfolds. As you will recall, the Commission had anticipated the prospect of a lower voter turnout already in July and approached the Constitutional Court. Nonetheless, the Commission implemented an extensive education and communication campaign to ensure that voters turn out.

“Regrettably, unwarranted attacks on the Commission could potentially also influence voter turnout. In the analysis of voter turnout, the Covid context in which the election happened should not be forgotten. The national message has been that people must not be in congregate environments,” Mambolo said.

Political Bureau

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