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'Duplicate voters' arrested in KZN, says IEC

IEC deputy chief executive Mawethu Mosery confirmed that duplicate voting occurred in KwaZulu-Natal.
IEC deputy chief executive Mawethu Mosery confirmed that duplicate voting occurred in KwaZulu-Natal.
Image: Nivashni Nair

The electoral commission (IEC) said it expected South Africans to be honest at the voting stations, as 19 cases of "duplicate voting" in KZN are being investigated by the police.

IEC's deputy chief executive officer Mawethu Mosery said the commission did not expect South Africans to resort to criminal activities on election day.

"We expected honesty. Our security features are reliant on the authority given to you to exercise 24 (A) through a scanner machine or giving us proof that you are registered as a voter."

"Secondly the fact that your name is either deleted from the voter's roll or you have proof that you are registered somewhere else. The ink was the main trump card to protect that environment but the moment people starting finding ways to reprobate we couldn't counter that on the day and we learned a lot from yesterday," he said.

Voters and politicians have said the indelible ink placed on the left thumbs of voters could easily be removed using cleaning products. IEC officials have said it is possible to vote more than once but doubts it would influence the election outcome.

Mosery was commenting on the cases of "duplicate voting" in KZN where people filled in Section 24 (A) forms to vote again at a station where they were not registered. Police are investigating 19 cases in the province where people were able to vote twice on Wednesday.

One person was arrested in Port Shepstone, one in Hluhluwe and 17 in Danhauser where "voters succeeded in voting twice".

Mosery would not comment on the criminal charges that those arrested would face or the specifics of the cases.

"It is not within our authority. Let the prosecutors and investigators do their job," he said.

Despite their second ballot papers being fraudulent, the IEC would still count it as a valid vote.

"How will we be able to isolate the fraudulent ballot from the others when it is a secret vote?" Mosery said.

He admitted that if the scanner updated the voting roll as soon as an ID was scanned, it would have prevented duplicated voting.

"But it was never designed to be live. It's mechanics were never planned around a live voters roll," he said.

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