IEC system faces glitches as registration weekend kicks off
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Johannesburg – The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) voter registration kicked off on Saturday, but its online registration system is seemingly experiencing glitches along the way.
The electoral commission’s voter management device (VDM), which has the ability to capture an address and to verify the address against ward boundaries, has been down since this morning.
In a tweet the commission said they are aware of the technical glitches and they are working on resolving the issue.
“We are aware of an issue with our website which relates to the mapping functionality. We're working on it and services should resume normally in an hour. Please bear with us. Due to current mapping issues, the VMDs will be capturing off-line while the system mapping detail issue is being resolved. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused,” said the IEC.
The VDM system is being used for the first time on a mass scale during this weekend’s registration. The voting device represents a departure from the erstwhile ‘Zip-Zip’ machines which have been in use in the registration process since 1998.
The system was dubbed a game-changer within the commission’s registration framework. In the 2019 national elections, there were allegations of voters who were able to cast more than one vote at the polls. Officials say the new online system will ensure that such incidents do not occur.
Meanwhile the EFF’s election spokesperson Leigh-Ann Mathys said they thought that the new system was going to solve a lot of problems, but it hasn’t.
“We are getting a lot of feedback and it is blocking the peak time when people want to register. The IEC should be held accountable for any technical failures which impacts the fairness of the polls,” she said.