/Double voting: Despite deviations, risks remain negligible audit shows

Double voting: Despite deviations, risks remain negligible audit shows

A voter gets his finger inked at a polling station

A voter gets his finger inked at a polling station. (Guillem Sartorio, AFP)

The Statistician-General’s final report reveals that there was a
negligible risk of double voting in the May 8, 2019 National and
Provincial elections.

“The report was intended, in addition to the
set of internal validations already applied by the Commission in
determining the freeness and fairness of the election based on the
likelihood of multiple voting,” Electoral Commission of South Africa
(IEC) spokesperson, Kate Bapela said in a statement on Thursday.

This
comes after the elections were rocked with allegations of electoral
fraud after 19 people were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal for double voting. 

A
Mpumalanga journalist, Etienne Mare tested out the system on voting day
following a voters claim and showed on video that the task was
possible.

He was arrested and appeared in court for
contravening on charges of contravening Section 88(d), voting more than
once; Section 89(i)(a), intentionally making a false statement; and
Section 90(2), infringement of secrecy of the Electoral Commission Act,
1996, News24 earlier reported.

ALSO READ: 19 arrested in KZN for ‘double voting’

The
validation process was conducted independently by Statistics South
Africa based on voting station result data from 1020 voting stations,
the electoral body explained.

“The selected voting stations
provide a statistically reliable sample of voting around the country.
The sample size was selected to provide a very high degree of
reliability with a 3% margin of error,” Bapela added.

The analysis
did a comparison between the Section24A votes in a district versus the
‘mean number’ of Section 24A votes in a ward to the Section24A votes.

“If
the Section 24A votes in a voting district were significantly higher
than instances of Section 24A votes in the ward this would be flagged as
an indicator of potential deviation from the voting process,” Bapela
further explained.

In conclusion, the IEC is satisfied that only a
‘significant deviation’ was reported in 13 out of 1020 voting stations
in the sample which would amount to 1.27%.

“Even in these isolated
instances, the Commission is satisfied that the trend compares
favourably with previous voting patterns in voting stations with low
registration levels,” Bapela concluded.

The final report conducted
by the Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke and his team at
Statistics South Africa has since been provided to all contesting
political parties.

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.

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