S. African electoral body probes double voting allegations
JOHANNESBURG, May 9 – The South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) have begun investigating allegations that double voting occurred in a sample of voting stations.
This follows the arrest of four voters in KwaZulu-Natal in connection with alleged double voting.
The IEC today said they are encouraged by the arrest of the four, adding that any attempt to vote more than once leaves a clear footprint in electoral process and the suspects were tracked down using this information.
“We will urgently conduct an audit of results and votes cast in a sample of voting stations to ascertain if double voting occurred,” said IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sly Mamabolo.
“The audit will cover a statistically representative sample of stations and those where complaints of double-voting were received. The process was endorsed by political parties in the party liaison committee today,” he said.
Mamabolo allayed fears that the IEC will not release the results in time in line with the country’s Constitution.
“By law we have seven days in which to announce the election results and is confident this voting and results audit exercise will be completed in time to provide assurance of the integrity of the results within this period,” he said.
The IEC is also investigating the effectiveness of the indelible ink marker pens supplied for the elections.
Mamabolo said the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will do the investigations with the full cooperation of the supplier.
The IEC called for calm as they continue with their work.
“The Commission calls on political parties, the media and all South Africans to show patience, calm and restraint as the audit process to ensure confidence is undertaken,” he said.
He said that they are going ahead with results capture and verification process of the results and that they will only announce results where it is 100 percent confident in the integrity and legitimate.
Trying to vote twice is a crime and electoral fraud which entails a jail term of about 10 years in South Africa. – XINHUA