DA mulls objecting to election result

Voters play soccer as after ballot paper shortages at the Pretoria West High School resulted in long queues and long waits on Wednesday May 8 2019.
Voters play soccer as after ballot paper shortages at the Pretoria West High School resulted in long queues and long waits on Wednesday May 8 2019.
Image: ALON SKUY

The DA is discussing the possibility of objecting to the election result, given issues experienced on voting day.

A number of polling stations ran out of ballot papers, some ID scanners malfunctioned and there were reports that the ink used to mark those who had voted was rubbing off, increasing fears that some might try to cast their ballot more than once.

PODCAST: VF+ wins over DA's constituency

The DA’s representative at the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC’s) result centre, Mike Moriarty, said the party had lodged about 2,500 complaints around the country. 

“A complaint is not an objection, but it is something that is material,” he said. 

“Objections, such as they have been so far, were lodged by different party agents in an undefined number of polling stations around the country. We don’t have the total number of that [but] I think it will be in the order of about 60.”

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.

Moriarty said the DA had 48 hours from when voting stations closed at 9pm on Wednesday to decide whether or not to object to the results.

“That is still under discussion. We are considering everything,” he said. 

“Not only is it the right thing to do, it is also the outcome of a judgment set out by the Constitutional Court in Tlokwe.”

The court had previously ruled that the 2013 Tlokwe by-elections in the North West were not free and fair.

Moriarty said the apex court had set the standard. 

“Now we have to ask ourselves does this [Constitutional] Court tell us the standard is free and fair, [and] does the evidence say that this election was not free and fair? That is where we are having our conversation right now,” he said.

He said the IEC seemed to be having doubts over the process and had to reconcile the cumulative effect of all the concerns and determine whether to act or demonstrate that the elections were in fact free and fair. 

“The fact that it finds itself considering those things means it is common cause that these elements … could be an argument that an election was somehow compromised.” 

Moriarty said the biggest concern was whether anyone was able to vote more than once. 

- BusinessLIVE

X