IEC’s security measures for the May 29 elections equipped to flag voter fraud

Voting day, a voter holds and ID book after casting his vote at the voters at the Strubensvallei Community Library.Picture: Karen Sandison

Voting day, a voter holds and ID book after casting his vote at the voters at the Strubensvallei Community Library.Picture: Karen Sandison

Published May 14, 2024


The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) says it is implementing robust security and scrutiny measures to safeguard the electoral process against fraud and ensure its integrity.

On May 29, over 27 million South Africans are expected to cast their votes in the general elections.

The IEC has outlined comprehensive plans to address security concerns, enhance scrutiny measures, and combat identity fraud.

According to the IEC KZN regional spokesperson Thabani Ngiwra, the IEC manages elections and has to register voters onto the national voters roll to protect the integrity of the voting process and promote transparency and fairness in elections.

“Accessing the right to vote requires the acquisition of an ID,’’ said Ngiwira.

“Applicants on the voter’s roll need the verification of citizenship through the population register of which the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is the sole custodian to, as is the issuing of IDs and the verification of citizenship, is the sole mandate of DHA.

“The ID numbers are redacted on the voter’s roll in line with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA),” said Ngiwira.

By law In South Africa, you can only vote where you are registered.

“A voter will only be allowed to vote if their name appears on the voter’s roll of that particular VD,’’ he said.

Moreover, Ngwira stated that voting is a process, a process that involves the scanning of the ID using the Voter Management Device (VMD), scratching the name on the voter’s roll, and marking the left thumbnail with an indelible ink.

He said this process has been set in place to prevent double voting.

Ngiwira further said that the VMD would be able to provide live updates and would therefore be able to have information stating whether or not a voter has already voted.

To address concerns related to identity fraud, the IEC has implemented measures to strengthen voter verification processes.

“The ICT infrastructure and its associated system of networks have built-in tools to pro-actively prevent interference with electoral operations and voter fraud,” said Ngwira.

“Stakeholders like political parties and independent candidates, through our PLC structures, are aware of this and all are welcome to put our systems to the test or examine them for scrutiny and transparency in elections,’’ he said.

In addition, the commission is working hard to enhance coordination with relevant government agencies to verify voter registration data and to detect any instances of fraudulent activities.

“To physically secure our materials, we are working closely with the nation’s security cluster,’’ said Ngiwa.

Furthermore, he said they have partnered with organisations like Meta, Google, the Media Monitoring Development Agency (MDDA), and other software agencies to assist them with fact-checking programs on the different social media platforms to help combat the spread of misinformation.

IOL Elections