Local newsNews

Major glitches in voting system, say North Durban councillors

Not everyone who applied for a special vote got the chance to vote.

THE 2024 National Elections may have gotten off to a seemingly smooth start in Durban North, uMhlanga and surrounds, but it seems it didn’t end that way.

Also read: WATCH: Durban North voters excited to make their mark

Ward 36 councillor Shontel de Boer said the biggest issue in her ward was that the inking pens had stopped working at the largest voting station in the ward – Chelsea Preparatory School.

“There have been plenty of hassles since the morning, but the biggest one at the moment is that people are voting without being inked. This morning, scanners were also offline which resulted in long queues. At the moment, queues are still long at this particular voting station which has left voters frustrated,” she said.

De Boer added that some Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) staff were ‘incompetent and could not read or spell properly’.

“The IEC must invest more time in training hired staff ahead of elections. There were few complaints about presiding officers,” she added.

De Boer said she was particularly excited to see that many voters came out, especially the youth.

Also read: DA leader John Steenhuisen casts his vote at Northwood voting station

Nicole Bollman, councillor for Ward 35, said she received a few complaints from voters in her ward who had qualified for special votes but never got the chance to vote as IEC officials did not show up at their homes.

“There were other minor problems, but special voters not being able to vote is a massive problem. We’ve been calling them to try and get them to a voting station to vote, but some can’t as they are bedridden,” said Bollman.

Another issue, she said, was that towards the end of the day, IEC officials no longer allowed those over 60 years old to wait in a special queue designated for the elderly.

“Pensioners are meant to be prioritised throughout the day, but this was not the case towards the end of the day,” she said.

Ward 34 councillor Bobby Maharajh said that apart from people complaining about long queues, everything had gone fairly well.

Ward 110 councillor Aamir Abdul said that the Sunningdale voting station had experienced snaking queues as only one ID scanner was working.

Another issue in the ward was that voters were turned away as their voting stations on the IEC database reflected stations in another city.

“Some voters could not vote as the IEC database said they were registered to vote in Cape Town or Gauteng which is strange as these people have lived in the area all their lives. Some who applied for a special vote never received a visit from an IEC official. Those who could get to a voting station were forced to do so. These are major issues of contention,” he said.

Abdul also said that the elderly were not allowed to proceed to the front of the queue as the voting day drew to a close.

For more from Northglen News, follow us on Facebook, X or Instagram. You can also check out our videos on our YouTube channel or follow us on TikTok.

Related Articles

Back to top button