Double voting: Despite deviations, risks remain negligible - audit shows

2019-05-16 18:39
A voter gets his finger inked at a polling station
A voter gets his finger inked at a polling station. (Guillem Sartorio, AFP)

The Statistician-General's final report reveals that there was a negligible risk of double voting in the May 8, 2019 National and Provincial elections.

"The report was intended, in addition to the set of internal validations already applied by the Commission in determining the freeness and fairness of the election based on the likelihood of multiple voting," Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) spokesperson, Kate Bapela said in a statement on Thursday.

This comes after the elections were rocked with allegations of electoral fraud after 19 people were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal for double voting. 

A Mpumalanga journalist, Etienne Mare tested out the system on voting day following a voters claim and showed on video that the task was possible.

He was arrested and appeared in court for contravening on charges of contravening Section 88(d), voting more than once; Section 89(i)(a), intentionally making a false statement; and Section 90(2), infringement of secrecy of the Electoral Commission Act, 1996, News24 earlier reported.

ALSO READ: 19 arrested in KZN for 'double voting'

The validation process was conducted independently by Statistics South Africa based on voting station result data from 1020 voting stations, the electoral body explained.

"The selected voting stations provide a statistically reliable sample of voting around the country. The sample size was selected to provide a very high degree of reliability with a 3% margin of error," Bapela added.

The analysis did a comparison between the Section24A votes in a district versus the 'mean number' of Section 24A votes in a ward to the Section24A votes.

"If the Section 24A votes in a voting district were significantly higher than instances of Section 24A votes in the ward this would be flagged as an indicator of potential deviation from the voting process," Bapela further explained.

In conclusion, the IEC is satisfied that only a 'significant deviation' was reported in 13 out of 1020 voting stations in the sample which would amount to 1.27%.

"Even in these isolated instances, the Commission is satisfied that the trend compares favourably with previous voting patterns in voting stations with low registration levels," Bapela concluded.

The final report conducted by the Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke and his team at Statistics South Africa has since been provided to all contesting political parties.

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.

Read more on: iec  |  stats sa  |  elections 2019  |  poltics