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IEC audit may delay release of poll results

The release of the final election results may be delayed due to irregularities identified in the voting process.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) is conducting an audit of voting stations where individuals may have voted twice. This could culminate in a delay to the final announcement of the election results, scheduled to take place on Saturday.

The IEC, which had its budget slashed by R300-million for this election, is being run for the first time in the 2019 polls by a relatively new team. This is the first national election presided over by common chairman Glen Mashanini. But the bigger problem in the IEC is the loss of institutional knowledge in recent years where longstanding experienced staff have left.

The audit was agreed upon at a tense meeting of the party liaison committee on Thursday — which includes political parties and the IEC — on Thursday morning.

DA federal chairman James Selfe said the audit would help the IEC to determine how widespread the problem of duplicate voting really was.

Selfe said poor training of electoral staff, shortcuts and ignorance of protocol and measured meant to protect the vote were at the heart of the problems.

He said it was premature to determine whether the entire election would be placed at risk. This would only happen if irregularities were found to such an extent that it would have a material effect on the outcome of the election.

The IEC was expected to brief the media at 2pm.

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Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.

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