The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) revealed that the supply of the controversial indelible ink was procured by Lithotech.
Sy Mamabolo, the commission’s chief electoral officer, was responding to questions about the controversy surrounding the ink markers, at a press briefing on Thursday.
IEC to audit results after ‘indelible’ ink outrage
It was discovered, during Election Day, that in some regions, electoral officers were using markers that could be easily removed after a few rinses under the tap.
This prompted political parties like the DA, to file complaints with the commission, calling for an audit on the election results, to ensure that the final voter count does not erroneously include double votes.
At the briefing, Mamabolo confirmed that the electoral commission would screen through every security measure it had set in place to ensure that voters do not get the ability to cast a ballot twice.
Security measures taken before you can vote
Painting a voter’s thumb with the indelible ink is the last security measure that is taken before one is handed the two ballot papers and shown to a voting booth.
Before that, presiding electoral officers run the voter’s ID on a scanner, recording its participation and linking it to the voter’s roll, where the names of every registered voter are listed.
What caused the fault in Lithotech markers?
Mamabolo revealed that approximately 200 000 pens were provided by the supplier for the election.
“Ïn an attempt to increase the effectiveness of the pens, the electoral commission had raised the percentage of the silver nitrate content, from 15% used in previous elections, to 20% of the pens that were used yesterday,” he explained.
Neither the IEC nor Lithotech would admit that there was an apparent fault in the markers. The ink supplier, at the time of publication of this article, had not returned our requests for an interview.