Election Day got underway to a very positive start at 7am today as voting stations across South Africa opened and voters arrived in high numbers to cast their votes in the National and Provincial Elections, says IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo.
“Reports from election operations around the country showed that almost all voting stations opened on time and by 11am today, large numbers of voters had already cast their ballots,” Mamabolo said during a media briefing on Wednesday at the IEC Results Operation Centre (ROC).
Mamabolo assured voters that adequate supplies of all materials, including more than 60 million ballot papers, are available and every voter will be assisted to vote.
He said there were some challenges reported, including staff failing to report on time for duty and materials delivered late. However, these were resolved by 9am.
“By 11.30am today, only 17 voting stations remained unopened due to access challenges. Fourteen of these were in the southern coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
“The Electoral Commission is working closely with security agencies supported by government departments to open these stations as soon as possible and when they are safe for voters and election staff,” Mamabolo said.
Mamabolo also expressed his condolences to the family of an elderly voter who died at a voting station in Elandspoort, Tshwane, early today.
Removing ink mark constitutes electoral fraud
Meanwhile, responding to social media reports of voters who have attempted to remove the indelible ink mark on their thumbs, Mamabolo has warned that an attempt to remove the indelible ink mark - constitutes electoral fraud, and is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
Mamabolo was responding to social media reports of voters who have attempted to remove the ink mark.
He thanked the voters who had already responded to the call to vote and appealed to all remaining voters to make their way to a voting station before they close at 9pm. – SAnews.gov.za