Praise for SA’s commitment to democracy

IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Published May 24, 2024


Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo has expressed gratitude for South Africans’ commitment to democracy.

This as the 2024 national and provincial elections approach.

He highlighted significant milestones, including the casting of over 56 000 votes abroad and preparations for special votes.

With more than 90 million ballots printed, Mamabolo emphasised the importance of integrity in the voting process and announced the launch of its National Results Operations Centre.

The IEC said the centre, located at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand for the first time, would serve as the primary management hub for electoral operations.

The commission praised South Africans who supported the journey towards this year's democratic elections. Dr Reza Mia also received praise for supporting democracy. The aesthetics and anti-ageing specialist and creator of Pegasus Universal Aerospace recorded a song encouraging people to vote.

Titled Each of us (Raise your vote), Mia worked with his friend Lex Leo and RJ Benjamin, his voice coach; Goofy, his producer; and his lawyer, Natalia. As innovator, Mia has received an award for a project he has been working on for almost a decade to create a pioneering vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

Now that voting is four days away, voters must understand the voting process to ensure their ballot counts. For instance, one could mistakenly mark one’s vote next to the wrong party, but is there recourse for that?

One common concern of what can happen during the voting process is unintentionally spoiling a ballot by voting for party A instead of party B, for example.

According to the IEC spokesperson Thabani Ngwira, voters are entitled to request a replacement ballot, but this can only be done before the voter has deposited the vote into the ballot box.

Voters can approach an election official and explain the situation.

Ngiwra said polling stations were equipped with a sufficient supply of ballots to accommodate these types of errors. Election officials understood that mistakes happened, and their primary goal is to facilitate a smooth voting process for everyone.

Saturday Star

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