Home South African IEC comments on ’malfunctioning’ VMDs and shortage of ballot papers

IEC comments on ’malfunctioning’ VMDs and shortage of ballot papers

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The IEC says that the 29,000 voting management devices that the commission has distributed to voting stations are “functioning well and holding up”.

File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

THE ELECTORAL Commission of South Africa (IEC) insists that its new voting management devices (VDMs) work perfectly and are not a cause for concern at this stage.

Responding to questions by the media on Monday during a briefing aimed at giving an update on the voting process so far, IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said that the 29,000 VDMs the commission had distributed so far to voting stations were “functioning well and holding up”.

His comment comes despite several reports from around the country relating to the devices not working optimally.

Furthermore, some community members have blamed delays in voting on the slowness or malfunctioning of the VMDs.

Mamabolo conceded that there were a few technical glitches.

“A total of 29,000 of them (VMDs) are connected to our network. We introduced them to fortify controls and improve efficiency,” said Mamabolo.

He further indicated that the IEC had procured up to 40,000 machines before the elections as a back-up.

Meanwhile, in some parts of the country, voting stations have reportedly experienced a shortage of ballot papers, while some material arrived late. Some voting stations were also marred by delays.

But the IEC says matters surrounding the ballot papers and delays are being sorted out timeously.

By noon on voting day, the number of individuals arrested for breaching IEC regulations had not yet been made available.

Earlier, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini had indicated that a presiding officer in eThekwini Metro was arrested after allegedly stuffing marked ballots into a ballot box.

“The matter is now in the hands of the SAPS. This incident, which did not affect voting, is a testament to the in-built safeguards in the voting process that also include an active role for party and independent candidate agents,” said Mashinini.

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