Voting stations all over South Africa are running low on ballot
papers, leading to major delays on Election Day.
Between isolated incidents of voter intimidation, electoral
misconduct, late starts and grim weather, it’s safe to say that Election Day
has gotten off to a sluggish start. Yet, the greatest threat to a smooth and
simple voting process is the dire lack – and obvious mismanagement – of ballot
Voting stations run dry
The issue of voting stations running out of ballot papers
has left voters fuming and Electoral Commission staff flustered. Long queues
and frustrating waiting hours have been exacerbated by, what voters are
calling, incompetence on the part of the Independent Electoral Commission
While the IEC has admitted its shortcomings in this regard,
it has offered up a reasonable explanation for the dire lack of ballot papers.
The situation is especially ominous in the Western Cape. The
IEC’s provincial head, Courtney Sampson, announced that several stations were
struggling to receive ballot papers on time. Sampson noted that, due to the
poor weather – particularly in Cape Town – many residents were choosing to abandon
their registered voting districts in favour of more convient options.
While voting at any station within your province is allowed,
it has a led to a serious imbalance – one which the IEC didn’t adequately prepare
for. As a result, ballot papers are running out at some stations while, at
others, the papers pile up, unused.
Sampson added that the process of acquiring and transporting fresh ballot papers was tedious, yet necessary, adding to delays at dry voting stations.
According to Electoral Law, ballot papers can only be transferred along with a police escort. With the South African Police Service (SAPS) already spread thin – thanks to protest action and stationary security protocol – the delivery process has become even more laborious.
Voting stations which have run out of ballot papers
The list of stations that have run out papers will update below. In order to avoid delays as far as possible, go to vote where you have registered.