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IEC to conduct sample audit of results

The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) will urgent­ly con­duct an audit of results and votes cast in a sam­ple of vot­ing sta­tions to ascer­tain if dou­ble vot­ing occurred.

Brief­ing reporters at 2pm at the IEC Results Oper­a­tions Cen­tre (ROC) in Pre­to­ria on Thurs­day, IEC head Sy Mam­abo­lo said the audit will cov­er a sta­tis­ti­cal­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of vot­ing sta­tions as well as all vot­ing sta­tions where com­plaints or alle­ga­tions of dou­ble vot­ing have been received.

“The final num­ber and selec­tion of the sam­ple will be deter­mined in con­junc­tion with expert sta­tis­ti­cians.

“The process was endorsed by polit­i­cal par­ties in the par­ty liai­son com­mit­tee today,” he said.

Zip-zip scan­ners and VEC 4 forms

He said the audit will involve the cap­ture of infor­ma­tion show­ing the ID num­bers of vot­ers who cast votes at each vot­ing sta­tion from the “zip-zip” scan­ners and com­plet­ed VEC 4 forms.

“This data will then be cross-ref­er­enced and com­pared to iden­ti­fy any instances of mul­ti­ple vot­ing to help estab­lish sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly whether such instances were iso­lat­ed or sys­temic and what the mate­r­i­al impact is, if any, to the results.

“In most vot­ing dis­tricts the VEC 4 forms and the zip-zips have already been returned to local offices as part of the roll-back of mate­ri­als fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of count­ing,” Mam­abo­lo said.

The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion has ordered the urgent dock­ing of the zip-zip scan­ners to upload what infor­ma­tion has been cap­tured relat­ing to vot­er par­tic­i­pa­tion.

He said addi­tion­al resources will also be urgent­ly iden­ti­fied and deployed from today to cap­ture the infor­ma­tion from the VEC 4 forms and zip-zips into spread­sheets to facil­i­tate com­par­isons and data analy­sis.

By law the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion has sev­en days in which to announce the results of the elec­tions and is con­fi­dent this exer­cise will be com­plet­ed in time to pro­vide assur­ance of the integri­ty of the results with­in this peri­od.

Mam­abo­lo said the IEC is encour­aged by the rapid arrest of  19 vot­ers in KwaZu­lu-Natal in con­nec­tion with alleged dou­ble vot­ing.

“As not­ed yes­ter­day, any attempt to vote more than once leaves a clear foot­print in the elec­toral process and the sus­pects were tracked down using this infor­ma­tion.”

Inves­ti­ga­tion into effec­tive­ness of indeli­ble ink

The IEC has also ordered an inves­ti­ga­tion into the effec­tive­ness of the indeli­ble ink mark­er pens sup­plied for the elec­tions. The inves­ti­ga­tion will be done in con­junc­tion with the CSIR and with the full coop­er­a­tion and sup­port of the sup­pli­er.

He said approx­i­mate­ly 200 000 pens were pro­cured through the nor­mal open ten­der process accord­ing to spec­i­fi­ca­tions set by the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion.

In an attempt to increase the effec­tive­ness of the pens, Mam­abo­lo said the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion had raised the per­cent­age of sil­ver nitrate from 15 per­cent used in pre­vi­ous elec­tions to 20 per­cent.

SA urged to be patient

Mam­abo­lo has assured South Africans that it will only announce results for the elec­tions where it is 100 per­cent con­fi­dent.

“The results cap­ture and ver­i­fi­ca­tion process con­tin­ues and the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion gives its assur­ance to South Africa that it will only announce results for elec­tions where it is 100 per­cent con­fi­dent in the integri­ty and legit­i­ma­cy of those results.

“The Com­mis­sion calls on polit­i­cal par­ties, the media and all South Africans to show patience, calm and restraint as the process to ensure con­fi­dence is under­tak­en.” –

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