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Social media ‘vanishing ink’ scare dismissed

Durban - Your vote will be counted - even if you used the pens provided by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Panic spread through the voting stations after e-mails and messages over social networks warned of an IEC conspiracy: the ink used to mark your vote would gradually fade by the time of counting, effectively “spoiling” it.

Voting at Lamontville municipal centre. Picture: Jacques Naude. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The rumour was started by a person claiming to be overseeing vote counting.

The volunteer encouraged voters to use their own pens to make their crosses.

The e-mail reads: “Use your own pen and not the one that they provide, because the ink disappears.”

But the IEC denied the claim. In its voter fact sheet, it dismisses it as an urban legend.

IEC spokesman Thabani Ngwira said regular pens had been issued, but voters were more than welcome to bring their own if they wished to.

He said he had also received enquiries relating to the X made next to the voter’s chosen party.

“Voters were urged yesterday [Wednesday] to make sure that the X did not touch the lines of their box.”

This, he said, might “create doubt” and could lead to the ballot being deemed “spoilt”.

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