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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

IEC says all its systems are a go for Wednesday’s big poll

The Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) says it is ready to conduct the 8 May elections by way of a free and fair electoral process.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo said 60 million ballot papers had been printed and 300,000 ballot boxes made for the elections scheduled for next Wednesday.

The second round of special votes will take place on Monday and Tuesday to cater for the physically infirm, disabled and pregnant mothers, who would be visited at home. Those who wouldn’t be at their voting districts on election day with valid reasons would also cast special votes.

A total of 774,094 voters will cast special votes on these two days after the IEC granted them the permission to do so.

“This is almost double the number of special voters in 2014 (393,516) and is close to the number of special voters in 2009 (743,609),” Mamabolo said.

He said IEC officials would visit the special voters at home, accompanied by party agents and observers.

The election was a culmination two years of preparation by the IEC, which had recruited 189,000 volunteers to do the commission’s work countrywide. A total of 22,924 voting stations would be opened to allow 26 million potential voters to exercise their democratic right to vote.

Mamabolo further announced that the commission had been collecting the addresses of voters for the past three years. He said 85 percent of those on the voters’ roll now had an address listed.

Mashinini said the commission would strive to ensure a free and fair election process, as had happened in previous elections since the dawn of democracy in 1994. He said all the previous polls had been declared free and fair, with international and local observers concurring with the commission.

– ericn@citizen.co.za

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