Over 50% home visits for special votes completed before noon
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The Election Commission (CEI) reported that a substantial number of special votes were taken on Sunday at noon, with between 50 and 70% of home visits made.
The IEC received a record 1,110,194 special vote requests for this year’s local elections.
In a statement released by the IEC at noon, spokeswoman Kate Bapela said turnout for special votes at polling stations varied widely, as some polling stations had full turnout and closed after that all approved special votes have already been cast.
Polling stations where voters have received requests for special votes and have not yet cast them will remain open until 5 p.m. Sunday.
However, voters who were unable to vote can still vote at their polling stations on election day tomorrow.
Bapela said the first day of the two-day special vote provided the Election Commission with an opportunity to fine-tune its operations and address any process and logistical issues.
The Commission reported the following incidents which took place on Saturday (first day):
⦁A presiding officer in Mpumalanga was summarily dismissed after being discovered under the influence of alcohol.
Following a law enforcement intervention, a special vote is expected to continue in Camperdown, KwaZulu-Natal. Eight polling stations were unable to open on Saturday due to a dispute over traditional leadership in the region.
⦁ In Mpumalanga, the Commission laid charges against the police after a voter tore up a ballot paper.
⦁ In Limpopo, charges were filed with police after members of a political party stormed secure storage for special ballots, causing damage to a ballot box and the facility.
“Other challenges faced yesterday included isolated cases of election officials not following the correct procedure for special votes – including failing to use the double envelope system.
“In cases where the Commission’s procedures have been violated, the relevant ballots will be quarantined and the Commission, after consultation with the National Liaison Committee of Political Parties, will determine the way forward,” Bapela said.
She added that the Commission will take strong action against staff found guilty of breaching procedures.