Pretoria - The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) says the 2016 special votes for the Local Government Elections started smoothly throughout the country.
“Reports from provincial electoral officers showed that special voting got off to a smooth and steady start with the vast majority of voting stations reporting being open and ready on time and home visit teams deployed as planned,” IEC CEO Mosotho Moepya said.
“A record 719 222 applications for special votes were approved for the elections including 315 597 home visits and 403 625 votes to be cast at voting stations.”
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Moepya however indicated that there were certain areas where stations opened late. Three members of the IEC were involved in car accidents in some provinces and that delayed the start to the operations.
“One in Limpopo involved the presiding officer of a voting station in Tubatse-Fetakgomo Municipality who was seriously injured and taken to hospital. The other two accidents involving a presiding officer in Mpumalanga and an area manager in Edumbe in KwaZulu-Natal were not serious and the officials are on duty,” he said.
Moepya added that there were four other incidents where incorrect ballot papers were delivered to voting stations. He said the outer covers were correct but the ballot papers belonged to a different ward. He added that there were also protests that halted operations.
“A few voting stations reported opening late or were still not open at 11:00 due to community protest action which was preventing election staff gaining access to these areas including ... trenches being dug to prevent vehicular access,” he said.
Moepya said voting stations were not opened in Vuwani after the commission decided to postpone special voting until Tuesday due to the small number of applications received. Only 32 people had applied for special votes.
Moepya said they were happy with the start of the special voting process.