The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has assured South Africans that it will only announce the results for elections when it is 100 percent confident in the integrity and legitimacy of the results.
The Commission’s Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo held a briefing on Thursday at the National Results Operations Centre in Pretoria.
“By law the Electoral Commission has seven days in which to announce the results of the elections and is confident this exercise will be completed in time to provide assurance of the integrity of the results within this period,” Mamabolo said.
He added the results capture and verification process would continue and called on political parties, the media and all South Africa to show patience, calm and restraint as the process to ensure confidence is undertaken.
Auditing election results
Mamabolo said the IEC will urgently conduct an audit of results and votes cast in a sample of voting stations to ascertain if double voting occurred.
He said the audit will cover a statistically representative sample of voting stations as well as all voting stations where complaints or allegations of double voting had been received.
The final number and selection of the sample will be determined in conjunction with expert statisticians.
“The process was endorsed by political parties in the party liaison committee today,” he explained.
Mamabolo said the audit will involve the capture of information showing ID numbers of voters who cast votes at each voting station from the “zip-zip” scanners and completed VEC 4 forms.
Data will then be cross-referred and compared to identify any instances of multiple voting to help establish scientifically whether such instances were isolated or systematic and what the material impact is, if any, on the results.
“In most voting districts the VEC 4 forms and the zip-zips have already been returned to local offices as part of the roll-back of materials following the conclusion of counting.”
Arrest of voters for double voting
“The Electoral Commission is encouraged by the rapid arrest of four voters in KwaZulu-Natal in connection with alleged double voting,” said Mamabolo.
“As noted yesterday, any attempt to vote more than once leaves a clear footprint in the electoral process and the suspects were tracked down using this information,” he added.
He said the commission has also ordered an investigation into the effectiveness of the indelible ink marker pens supplied for the elections.
According to Mamabolo, the investigation will be conducted in conjunction with the CSIR and with the full cooperation and support of the supplier.
Approximately 200 000 pens were procured through the normal open tender process according to specifications set out by the IEC.
“In an attempt to increase the effectiveness of the pens, the Electoral Commission had raised the percentage of silver nitrates from 15 percent used in the previous elections to 20 percent,” Mamabolo explained.
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