Record-breaking special votes in LGE 2016

There are a few hours left of Day 1 of the 2016 Special Elections and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says that they got off to a smooth and steady start. The IEC has indicated that a record high of 719 22 applications were approved this year.

The IEC’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mosotho Moepya explained that 403 625 special votes (which translates to 56 %) would be cast at voting stations around the country. The other 44 % – belonging to 315 594 voters – would be cast through home visits. These home visits would be applicable in cases where voters were considered infirm.
In Kwa-Zulu Natal, close to 6000 people in the King Cetshwayo District Municipality, formerly uThungulu district, are being visited by IEC officials to cast their ballots in the special votes category. Thirty six year-old Thomas Radebe, who went blind after a mysterious ailment at the age of six, has called on the IEC to make more provisions to support visually impaired voters. These could be offered in the form of Braille ballot papers, which would aid the blind in casting their ballots without guides or guiding companions.
While the IEC is happy with the progress made on the first day of special votes, a number of glitches occurred in the form of car accidents, delivery of incorrect ballots to voting centres and community protest action.

By Tshimologo Mapetla


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