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Vote cheats will spend 10 years in jail  

To remove an indeli­ble ink on your thumb in an attempt to vote twice make up a crim­i­nal offense, warns IEC Chief Elec­toral Offi­cer Sy Mam­abo­lo.

Mam­abo­lo said attempt­ing to remove the ink mark con­sti­tute elec­toral fraud.

“The indeli­ble ink is one of sev­er­al secu­ri­ty checks and safe­guards built into the elec­tion process.

The Com­mis­sion wish­es to remind all vot­ers try­ing to under­mine the integri­ty of the elec­tion process includ­ing attempt­ing to remove the ink mark makes up elec­toral fraud. It is pun­ish­able by up to 10 years in jail, “said Mam­abo­lo.

The Chief Elec­toral Offi­cer was respond­ing to social media alle­ga­tions that some peo­ple were try­ing to remove the ink to vote twice.

He how­ev­er, said Elec­tion Day got off to a pos­i­tive start at 07h00 today [Wednes­day] as vot­ing sta­tions across South Africa opened.

Mam­abo­lo said vot­ers arrived in high num­bers to cast their votes in the Nation­al and Provin­cial Elec­tions.

He said reports from elec­tion oper­a­tions around the coun­try showed that almost all vot­ing sta­tions opened on time,

By 11h00 large num­bers of vot­ers had already cast their bal­lots.

“In scenes rem­i­nis­cent of 1994, we saw long queues of vot­ers wait­ing patient­ly to vote at vot­ing sta­tions through­out the coun­try.

The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion assures vot­ers that ade­quate sup­plies of all mate­ri­als includ­ing over 60 mil­lion bal­lot papers are avail­able and it will help every vot­er to vote,” added Mam­abo­lo.

Vot­ing queues peak ear­ly as vot­ers often seek to vote first thing dur­ing the day.

As always, said Mam­abo­lo there were some chal­lenges report­ed includ­ing instances where elec­tion staff did not report on time for duty and where vot­ing mate­ri­als arrived late.

But by 09h00 offi­cials were able resolved these.

Over 26.7 mil­lion South Africans are expect­ed to vote to elect the country’s sixth admin­is­tra­tion after the dawn of democ­ra­cy today.

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