Technical glitches mar elections

By Babalo Ndenze and Kgomotso Modise for EWN

Technical glitches and Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) staff members who failed to pitch for work were some of the problems facing certain voting stations.

These issues, among others, were reported by observers monitoring the elections in Cape Town.

The IEC has accredited 66 observer organisations for this year’s election to monitor the voting process.

While election observers said there haven’t been any serious disruptions since voting opened this morning, certain voting districts near Mitchells Plain and Tafelsig had been affected by delays.

Ryland Fisher of the Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission said a deputy presiding officer failed to pitch for work at one station.

“There were some polling stations were some staff did not come to work. In fact, four people did not come to work and that affected the polling station quite a bit. The deputy presiding officer did not come to work which was very odd because this a very big day.”

He said there were one or two issues of malfunctioning scanners, a problem that affected a number of polling stations from Woodstock to Hout Bay.

Problems in Gauteng

There have also been technical problems at the Onkgopotse Tiro School voting station in Ebumnandini resulting in long queues.

The West Rand township had been neglected, with community members being left without basic services such as toilets and electricity for over 19 years.

Voting was painfully slow in Ebumnandini and it’s all because only one server was stationed to serve over 4,000 people

Officials said the scanner had also been very slow, causing a backlog in the already long queue. They also said ballot boxes had started running out but they were making plans to get more.

Some voters have told Eyewitness News they decided to vote later in an attempt to avoid the long queues but the plan didn’t seem to be working.

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