The Electoral Commission (IEC) has reported that a substantial number of special votes have been done by midday on Sunday with between 50% to 70% of home visits completed.
The IEC received a record number of 1 110 194 special vote applications for this year’s local government elections.
In a statement issued by the IEC at midday, spokesperson Kate Bapela said the turnout for special votes at voting stations varied considerably as some voting stations had a full turnout and closed after all approved special votes had already been cast.
Voting stations where voters have been granted applications for special votes and have not yet cast them will remain open until 5pm on Sunday.
However, any voters who had not been able to cast their votes may still vote at their voting stations on Election Day, tomorrow.
Bapela said that Day One of the two-day special voting provided the Electoral Commission with an opportunity to fine tune its operations and to deal with any process and logistical issues.
The Commission reported the following incidents that took place on Saturday (Day One):
⦁A presiding officer in Mpumalanga was summarily dismissed after he was found to be under the influence of alcohol.
⦁Following an intervention by the law enforcement agencies, special voting is expected to continue in Camperdown, KwaZulu-Natal. Eight voting stations could not open on Saturday due to a dispute over traditional leadership in the area.
⦁ In Mpumalanga, the Commission laid charges with the police after a voter tore a ballot paper.
⦁ In Limpopo, charges have been laid with the police after political party members stormed a secure storage for special voting ballots papers, causing damages to one ballot box and the facility.
“Other challenges encountered yesterday included isolated cases of election officials not following the correct procedure for special votes – including not using the double envelope system.
“In instances where the Commission’s procedures have been violated, the affected ballots will be quarantined and the Commission will, after consultation with the National Political Party Liaison Committee, determine the way forward,” Bapela said.
She added that the Commission will take strong action against staff members found to have violated procedures.