South Africa: Independant Electoral Commission Assures Nation of Intergrity of the Elections

A voting station in Southfield, Cape Town
press release

In the light of serious allegations regarding two potential instances of double voting, the Electoral Commission would like to assure voters and all stakeholders of the overall integrity of the electoral process.

Two separate instances have been brought to the attention of the Electoral Commission over the past few hours in which it is alleged voters were able to cast more than one vote at different voting stations.

The Commission views these allegations in the most serious light and has launched investigations into these incidents.

Fortunately the election process contains a number of checks and safeguards which together serve to protect the integrity of the process. These layers of security include:

The voters' roll which only allows registered voters to vote - and only allows for a single registration per voter

The requirement for voters to produce a valid ID document before they vote

The scanning of ID documents prior to voting

The marking of a voter's thumb with ink

The completion of a form containing the details of voters and the signing of a sworn declaration by voters where they vote at a voting station at which they are not registered

Party agents and observers monitoring all aspects of the voting, counting and results capturing process

In-built system-based exception reports for which various tolerance levels have been set

All of these leave a detailed footprint of voter participation in the process and can be used both separately and in combination to identify instances of electoral fraud.

As part of the process of finalizing the results of the elections, the Commission will assess data from scanners, VEC 4 forms (used when voters vote outside their voting districts) and the voters' roll to identify potential risks.

Where evidence is found to support electoral fraud, the Electoral Commission will firstly quarantine the results of the affected voting districts and secondly will pursue criminal charges against the perpetrators.

The electoral process also allows for objections to be raised by political parties throughout the process. This includes instances where they believe a voter was ineligible to vote or has voted more than once.

The Electoral Commission appeals to any party or person who may have evidence of any electoral fraud or significant irregularity to report this immediately so that it can be thoroughly investigated.

The Electoral Commission will not allow the potential misconduct of one or two individuals - be they voters or election officials - to taint the overall outcome of these elections.

The integrity of the results is paramount to the credibility of all elections and all election results are only finally captured and displayed in the results system where the Commission is satisfied in the integrity of the results.

Issued by: Independent Police Investigative Directorate

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