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Glitches on first day of Special Votes

Special votes got underway at 08h00 on 01 August 2016; however, it was not all systems go for some centres, as voters encountered problems.

By Sylvia Mbiti

Livhuhani Manyatshe (a voter) applied to cast a special vote at Mondeor Community Hall. The voting station was scheduled to open by 08h00, however, when she arrived at 08h30 it was yet to open.

Manyatshe says the special votes list had not been amended, which meant that her name did not appear on the list, even though she had receipt of a successful application.

Other voters at the voting station were asked to fill out forms to enable them to vote. In addition, there were no observers at the voting station. The whole process took 30 minutes, even though only two people were voting at the time.

Manyatshe advises that, to prevent friction and delays, voters must arrive at the stations at which they are registered carrying an approved copy of receipt from the IEC. This should prove that their application has been approved for the special vote.

Noordgesig Primary School in Soweto also reported delays this morning. The voting centre had not opened by 9h00, which left voters waiting outside and some leaving without voting.

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) spokesperson Kate Bapela says delays come in many ways: “The delays could have been caused by the fact that there was not enough security personnel to deliver the voting materials, and that could have then led to the voting stations to open late.”

Furthermore, in some voting stations located at schools, teachers were not aware that special votes would be cast there today.

Bapela states that this is not an excuse for delays, but, notes that it is a good thing that there were not large volumes of people at the voting stations.

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