IEC provincial head Courtney Sampson said ballot papers are always escorted by police guard and this can at times result in delays in getting ballot papers to the different voting stations. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Western Cape  Chief Electoral Officer Courtney Sampson says the key challenge in the province so far is the fact that voters are under the impression they can vote anywhere.

Sampson was addressing the media at the IEC’s provincial results centre at Century City a short while ago.

“People seem to think that the ‘vote where you can’ message that was circulated is how things work but it is not,” said Sampson.

He also moved to dispel rumours that the IEC in the Western Cape has run out of ballot papers.

According to Sampson, ballot papers are always escorted by police guard and this can at times result in delays in getting ballot papers to the different voting stations.

Western Cape Chief Electoral Officer Courtney Sampson briefs the media.    Video: Norman Cloete
“We have enough ballot papers for another election. It does sometimes mean that people will have to wait for ballot  papers to arrive,” said Sampson.

He jokingly added that he always casts his vote incognito so that he can experience what ordinary voters experience.

“I must say, I have just voted and it was a harrowing experience but it was good to be among the people,” said Sampson.

He also used the opportunity to praise the efforts of the many electoral officers across the province saying that when they are confronted by a challenge, like people being at the wrong voting stations, they almost always make a plan to accommodate the voters.

He added that the weather did appear to have an effect on the numbers but that things could still get hectic as the election hours tick away.

Sampson was accompanied by a diplomatic corpse of observers from 15 countries including the Netherlands, the US, Brazil, China and Romania.

South Africans are voting in the country's sixth general elections since the abolishment of apartheid 25 years ago.

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Weekend Argus