Special votes off to a rocky start in Parklands

The special votes got off to a rocky start in Parklands. Picture: Robin-Lee Francke / IOL

The special votes got off to a rocky start in Parklands. Picture: Robin-Lee Francke / IOL

Published May 27, 2024


The general elections are on our doorstep, and on Monday, May 27, special voting commenced, however, a voting station in Parklands, Cape Town was ill-prepared.

Special voting is for those who cannot make it to the polls on Wednesday, May 29.

According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), 1,668,076 South Africans have been approved for special votes. Trained election officers will also visit 624,593 voters at their homes or places of confinement.

In the Western Cape, 137,558 voters were registered for special votes.

The boxes with ballots which had no stamp. The boxes were sealed and put one side. Picture: Robin-Lee Francke / IOL

At the voting station in Humewood Drive in Parklands special voting took place, however, as some had already cast their votes, a member of the public questioned IEC staff on the stamp that is supposed to be place on the back of the ballot papers.

During this time, officials had to call the supervisor who came. At this time they were indeed looking for a stamp. Voting was halted at this time just after 9.30am.

Voters were told they were waiting for the regional manager to come. At this time party agents (political party representatives) were present.

The new box for ballots being assembled. Picture: Robin-Lee Francke / IOL

It took a while before the regional manager appeared and she seemed to have been shocked. Party agents at this time also stated the ballot boxes needed to be sealed, as members of the public started questioning the validity of the votes that didn’t get stamped, and requested new boxes for the ballots that would be stamped.

“The people who have already voted should be notified. What is now going to happen to those votes?” a woman questioned.

The wait was estimated to be 30 minutes. The regional manager did not make any announcement to voters, however, the party agent from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spoke to those waiting to cast their vote and gave a detailed explanation.

The wait for the box to be tagged before voting can re-commence. Picture: Robin-Lee Francke / IOL

There was a back-and-forth with the regional manager and party agents about what to do. Those waiting to vote had to sit by and wait as the squabble continued.

A decision was made by 10.18am, that the three boxes with ballots in them will be sealed and opened on Wednesday after all votes have been cast.

As IEC officials were closing the boxes with tape, the regional manager left and party agents ensured there were no cracks or tears that could lead to any ballots being added or removed.

This resulted in a 40-minute wait before another box for the ballots came. It also took a while for the cardboard box to be assembled and tagged, which also took a while.

Voting commenced by 11.07am.

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