Citizens make their mark in 2024 Elections

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Voting stations have now officially closed and Election Day 2024 in South Africa has drawn to a close.

Citizens who were still in line at 9pm will be served by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), and will still be allowed to make their mark.

In some areas – particularly metropolitan hubs – long, snaking queues of voters could be seen, with millions of South Africans making their way to voting stations to exercise their hard won right to vote.

In a media briefing on Wednesday evening, Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo, said the commission had put in place plans to service those areas with more speed.

“Part of the measures that we implemented…was to call on the counting officers, who were due to join later. But we called them earlier to assist with dealing with the queues,” Mamabolo said.

He explained the process that will now unfold as counting commences.

“Ballots are counted at the voting station where they are cast. Party agents and independent candidate agents and observers will monitor the entire counting process as well as the results compilation.

“Sealed ballot boxes will be opened and emptied in front of everybody at the voting station, and each ballot is then unfolded face down and checked for the Electoral Commission’s security stamp. All valid ballot papers are grouped according to their colours representing the different tiers of the election.

“The ballots will then be sorted into piles according to votes for each party or candidate. They will [then] be packed into bundles of 100 until a count is confirmed in respect of a party or candidates. Then results slips are completed by the Presiding Officer and party agents as well as agents representing independents will be expected to counter sign the results slips to confirm the correctness of the count attributed to their party or to their candidate,” he said.

From there, the slip will be taken to the Commission’s local office.

“At the local office of the IEC where the local party structures will be present, it will first be scanned into the results system to create an image of that result. It will then be available for political parties that are [at the Results Operations Centre].

“After that, it will be captured… and after capturing then it will be audited. Once the captured result is audited and there are no exceptions related to that result, you will begin to see the votes reflecting on the leader board [at the Results Operations Centre],” he said.

Mamabolo explained that results may take longer to filter through than in the past because ballots papers are now three instead of two.

Counting is expected to commence at each voting station as soon as the last voter has been served. –