IEC hit with complaints about technical glitches

Glitches with the voter-management devices used in yesterday’s municipal elections caused frustration at several voting stations.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) was inundated with complaints about its systems going offline.

In a briefing on Monday night, IEC Western Cape electoral officer Michael Hendrikse confirmed that voter-management devices had “slowed down” but he would not be drawn the exact cause for this.

“What we’ve decided is the machine will still be used,” he said.

The DA, ANC and ACDP say the problem affected voting in Brackenfell, Kuils River and Kraaifontein.

A “technical glitch” hit the only scanner used in the Pondoresa building in Sarepta, Kuils River, delaying voting by about five minutes, which was enough to create a snaking queue in the afternoon, said ACDP party agent Hendrick Lakay.

The glitch would likely hurt smaller parties because people would not want to queue in the rain, he said.

The Good party’s voting station captain, Conrad Cornelius, downplayed the impact of the technical glitch at Pondoresa.

ANC’s Ward 11 candidate Johanna February said she would investigate.

The DA’s Grant Twigg, who is running for re-election in Ward 7, said a technical glitch had held up voting at Cavaleria Primary School in Scottsdene but only briefly

ANC Ward 8 candidate Lwazi Masiza said he had lodged a complaint with the IEC’s Pretoria headquarters after systems went offline and allegedly caused voters to desert polling stations in Brackenfell and Soneike.

DA ward councillor Marian Nieuwoudt said: “It is and was very slow, and they turned a lot of voters away that did re-register but were not captured. It’s very frustrating.”

Candidates also blamed the rain for a low voter turnout. Only 857 159 people had voted by 6pm on Monday, according to the IEC.