First day of special votes done and dusted: IEC

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has given the thumbs up to the first day of special votes in the country.

The electoral body says reports show that special voting got off to a smooth steady start with minor delays and hiccups.

More than 26 million South Africans have registered to vote, the majority are expected to cast their ballots on Wednesday, August the 3rd.

A record 719 222 applications for special votes were approved for the elections – including 315 597 (44%) home visits and 403 625 (56%) votes to be cast at voting stations.

Monday was the first day of special votes for the local government elections and although things went smoothly at many stations, in some, voting did not start until around lunch time.

According to the IEC, there was a variety of circumstances which led to the slow bumpy start.

Three election staff members were involved in separate motor accidents in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, one of them was hospitalised.

Some stations had wrong ballot papers delivered to them.

“In all cases the outer covers of the ballot books were correct but the contents were ballot papers belonging to a different ward,” says the IEC.

And in some areas, protesters prohibited the IEC from conducting elections. According to the IEC, some community members dug trenches to prevent officials from accessing their area. In Vuwani, The IEC postponed voting to Tuesday because of low voter turnout.

Special votes continue on Tuesday and a total of 719 222 voters have registered. The rest of South Africa will vote on Wednesday.


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