Voting on track, despite minor glitches

2011-05-18 14:50

Pretoria - All but one voting station was open by 09:30 while a few glitches were reported as South Africans headed to the polls for the fourth local government elections on Wednesday, Chief Electoral Officer Pansy Tlakula said.

“We are happy with the process so far,” she said at the 2011 national results operation centre (ROC) in Pretoria.

Over 95% of 20 859 voting stations opened on time to allow the 23.6m eligible voters to cast their ballot, she said.

There had been a “few challenges”.

Ballot papers

A few stations had insufficient ballot papers, but this had since been resolved by distributing all ballot papers that had been kept at warehouses.

She said in the 2009 national elections there was a “lot of concern and excitement” about running out of ballot papers.

“We will not run out of ballot papers as we did not in 2009.”

South Africans have to vote where they are registered so the IEC is able to determine how many ballot papers are needed at each voting station and had provided for 100% voter turnout.

There were problems with scanners at some voting stations which had led to long queues.

Tlakula said this was because the paper was too thick for the scanners, but emphasised the problem was not widespread.

Protests, power failures, rain

Protest marches had not disrupted voting as they had not impeded access to the stations, Tlakula said.

Protests were reported from Tswaing in North West, Kuruman in the Northern Cape, Matatiele, Nelspruit and Thobotse in Limpopo, among others.

Thokoza, Katlehong and Kempton Park in Gauteng, as well as Balfour in Mpumalanga had experienced power failures. Electoral officials had had to bring in generators.

Rain in Limpopo and some parts of Mpumalanga had hindered some voting, but disaster management teams were on standby.

Campaigning SMSes

Tlakula said they had received a number of complaints about political parties sending campaigning SMSes to voters.

The incorrect impression had been created that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was supplying voter information to political parties, she said.

“... the IEC has not supplied any information or contact details to any political parties,” she said.

The delays in opening some stations at 07:00 was a result of IEC officials and police reporting for work late or problems with voting materials, she added.

- Have you voted? Send us your stories and photos

  • malcolm - 2011-05-18 15:16

    Will we ever get it right?

      Skuinskoek - 2011-05-18 15:36

      Lets face it - it's a monumental task - and run with a LOT of volunteers, the logistics can never be 100%

      Johnny_B_Goode - 2011-05-18 15:56

      I think we have...

      apie - 2011-05-18 17:03

      skuinskoek, why is your koek skuins? Are you chinese?

      nohorse - 2011-05-18 17:17

      @apie: don't you know what skuinskoek is? You must get an education if you want to take part in discussions on this forum.

  • KwaggaB - 2011-05-18 15:21

    Voting at Panorama Primary School on the West Rand this morning was a breeze. IEC officials were friendly, helpful and organised; I walked in, voted and walked out. I then accompanied a friend to the voting station at Weltevreden Park Primary 10 min later. This was chaotic, disorganised and the officials were clueless and arrogant, with one official referring to my friend as “you people”. Now I wonder what he meant by “you people”?

      Slapper - 2011-05-18 15:28

      He meant you white colonialists that keep showing us up and embarrassing the ANC, because he was given his job by the old buddy buddy ANC, They dont like whites who keep pointing out their shennanigans.

      Dundermoose - 2011-05-18 16:33

      Sounds like a day at Home Affairs!

  • Slapper - 2011-05-18 15:21

    Minor glitches like no Ballot papers at some stations, Scanners that don't work, Voting Booths burned down. Incompetent planning and inefficient execution. Another normal day in Sunny South Africa.

  • Johnny_B_Goode - 2011-05-18 15:59

    Shut & don't complain & hope you party wins. Good job IEC.

      Joe_Massahar - 2011-05-18 16:32

      @Johnny_B_Goode "Shut & don't complain"?? Are you talking about the voting stations being shut and being told not to complain?

  • apie - 2011-05-18 17:02

    Are these glitches based on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, standards?

  • Jack - 2011-05-18 17:06

    How many ANCs does it take to change a light bulb? Oh sh*t! the lightbulb's gone!!!

  • - 2011-05-18 19:44

    @ slapper...but doesn't the way that things must ALWAY'S go wrong just make our country one of a kind?! hahah I LOVE IT!! we're living on the verge of a revolution...and at the very least, we will never be bored....:)

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