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The Electoral Commission has decided to postpone all by-elections scheduled to take place tomorrow in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape.

The Electoral Commission took the decision following the orders of the Electoral Court today to postpone by-elections in six of the seven wards scheduled to take place in Tlokwe, North West tomorrow.

While the orders only related to the six wards in Tlokwe listed in the court application, the Electoral Commission considered a postponement in the interest of free and fair elections noting that all by-elections share similar circumstances as those ordered for a postponement by the court.

The Electoral Commission will therefore request the relevant MECs to postpone these by-elections in terms of Section 8 of the Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act 2000.

The Electoral Commission will communicate any further decisions to all stakeholders regarding these by-elections in due course.

ISSUED BY THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Ensuring free, fair and credible elections 

Centurion
23 February 2016


The Electoral Commission has noted the orders of the Electoral Court that, among others, the by-elections scheduled to take place tomorrow in Wards 1, 4, 11, 12, 18 and 20 of the Tlokwe Municipality be postponed.

In line with these orders, voting stations in these wards will not open tomorrow and the Electoral Commission advises all affected voters not to visit these voting stations.

The Electoral Commission is currently considering the wider implications of the judgment and taking advice on the matter and will communicate any further decisions to all stakeholders as soon as possible.

ISSUED BY THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Ensuring free, fair and credible elections

Centurion
23 February 2016


The Electoral Commission has noted the concerns expressed by some independent candidates contesting next weeks Tlokwe by-elections regarding the veracity of the voters’ roll.

In response, the Electoral Commission today invited the legal representatives of the concerned candidates to an urgent meeting to address their concerns and to explain in greater detail the steps the Electoral Commission has taken following the Constitutional Court ruling to address weaknesses identified by the Court.

In this regard, they were given a progress update on the 10-point plan which the Electoral Commission implemented in Tlokwe following the judgment.

Among the steps taken include:

  • The Commission sent notices to the 1040 persons who had been identified in its investigation in 2014 to have been incorrectly registered on the segments of the voters’ roll for the affected voting districts notifying them of its intention to remove their names from those segments of the voters’ roll. Of these, 741 persons were removed from the affected segments, 241 either re-registered themselves in new voting districts or were confirmed as registered in the relevant voting district; 50 were found to have been duplicate entries;
  • in addition, the Commission compared the remaining addresses furnished by voters whose names appeared on the segments of the voters’ roll for the affected voting districts against the National Address Database (NAD) and identified 4 531 persons whose addresses possibly fell outside the voting districts in which they were registered;
  • After investigating the registration of these 4 531 identified persons, the Commission sent notices to 1 601 persons notifying them of its intention to remove their names from those segments of the voters’ roll requesting them to make representations in respect thereof. Of these, 1 599 persons were removed from the affected segments and 2 re-registered;
  • On 22 December 2015, the Commission provided members of the MPLC with a provisional voters’ roll for all the persons whose names appeared on the relevant segments of voters’ roll for the affected voting districts, as well as separate lists of the 4 531 persons identified for investigation after the NAD comparison, and the 1040 persons who had been identified in its 2014 investigation. Armed with this information, members of the MPLC were throughout requested to bring the names of those persons who were possibly irregularly registered in the affected voting districts to the attention of the Commission;
  • Between the commencement of the Commissions targeted registration campaign in the affected voting districts on 6 January 2016 and the proclamation of the by-elections on 22 January 2016, there was a total registration activity of 2 030 persons, of which 475 were persons applying for registration for the first time, 958 were persons who were previously registered who applied for registration in a different (and affected) voting district, and 597 who sought registration in the same voting district;
  • On 27 January 2016 (i.e. prior to the certification of the relevant segments of the voters’ roll on 28 January 2016) the Commission provided members of the MPLC with separate lists of the names and addresses of the 1 601 persons referred to above and the 2 030 persons who had sought registration (or re-registration, as the case may be) in the affected voting districts between 6 January 2016 and 22 January 2016. This was again done to enable members of the MPLC to bring the names of those persons who were possibly irregularly registered in the affected voting districts to the attention of the Commission, should they be so minded;
  • The certified segments of the voters’ roll for the affected voting districts were made available for inspection at the Commissions local office since 28 January 2016.
  • All candidates were provided with free copies of the certified segments of the voters’ roll with addresses for the affected voting districts on 8 February 2016, on which date they were certified as candidates.

While the Electoral Commission notes the concerns expressed in relation to the lack of addresses for a number of voters on the certified voters roll, it is important to note a number of very important aspects of the judgment of the Constitutional Court namely:

1. The judgment was specifically prospective (Judgment, para [114]; order, para 5(c), 5(d) and 6)

This means the requirement to obtain an address stems only from the date of the order. In the result, those voters who were registered prior to 30 November 2015 in the absence of a conventional address having been provided cannot simply be removed from the relevant segments of the voters roll.

2. The Court did not require the Electoral Commission to verify the addresses of voters. In fact, the judgment notes as follows:

The IEC is also labouring under a misapprehension, which this judgment should help to dispel, that it is obliged to verify voters addresses when they register. That is incorrect.

What they are obliged to do is obtain sufficient information from the voter as to their ordinary place of residence to ensure that they are registered in the correct voting district and correct ward.”

3. The Court specifically noted that the absence of an address for a voter did not invalidate that voter’s registration or participation in an election.

If the voter does not have an address  and even in informal settlements very often sites or the dwellings are numbered or identified in some way  the IEC is not obliged to refuse them registration. Nor is the segment of the voters roll relating to that voter invalidated by the absence of an address. Section 16(3) makes it clear that their inclusion is dependent on the address being available.

That means that the IEC must endeavour to ascertain from the person coming in to register an address, where they have a physical address, or some detail that will serve as an address for the purposes of the roll. But if there is none then, provided they are registered in the correct ward, they must be registered and the absence of an address does not affect the validity of the voters roll.

The Electoral Commission firmly believes that it has taken all reasonable measures to ensure the integrity of the upcoming elections in Tlokwe.

Going forward beyond Tlokwe, the Electoral Commission will continue to seek ways to enhance the reliability and integrity of the data on the voters roll and in our possession for voters – including addresses and contact details.

In the short term, we are encouraging all voters who are registered and for whom we do not have an address listed to make use of the upcoming registration weekend on 5 and 6 March to visit their correct voting station and to refresh their registration details by completing a REC 1 registration form.

In the medium to longer term, the Electoral Commission is investigating further measures supported by advances in technology (including GPS) and access to mobile and digital platforms to enhance the reliability of information contained in the voters roll.
With regards to the allegations of 565 voters who are alleged to be incorrectly registered in Tlokwe, the Electoral Commission treats such allegations very seriously and has requested the independent candidates to furnish proof of these allegations so that the Commission may take the necessary action.

The Electoral Commission reminds voters that it is a criminal offence to register where they are not ordinarily resident and it will not hesitate to pursue criminal charges against any person found to have violated this or who may have encouraged others to violate this provision.

Finally, on the allegations that parties may have on the use of state resources for campaigning in Tlokwe, the Electoral Commission advises anyone who has evidence of a breach of the Electoral Code of Conduct to lay a charge with either the South African Police Service or directly with the Electoral Court being the relevant authorities to deal with such matters.

For its part the Electoral Commission will apply its mind on this issue and deal with the matter as may be appropriate.

The Electoral Commission wishes to thank all parties and candidates for the cooperation it has enjoyed from them throughout the preparations for these by-elections.

The Commission further wishes to enjoin political parties and candidates in ensuring that a free and fair election is realised.

ISSUED BY THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Ensuring free, fair and credible elections

Centurion
18 February 2016

For media queries: Please contact Kate Bapela on 082 600 6386
For media interviews: Please email requests to spokesperson@elections.org.za

Also find the IEC on –
Facebook: www.facebook.com/IECSouthAfrica
Twitter: @IECSouthAfrica
You Tube: www.youtube.com/user/IECSouthAfrica
Contact Centre: 0800 11 8000


Handover of 2014 National and Provincial Election Results Atlas

Parliament, Cape Town  The Electoral Commission today handed over the 2014 National and Provincial Elections Atlas of Results to the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as the various key stakeholders including the respective Honourable Leaders and or representatives of all political parties that are represented in Parliament.

This is the fourth edition of the Geographical Information System (GIS) Atlas of Results, first published after the 1999 National and Provincial Elections. The Atlas of Results provides a comprehensive graphic compendium of statistics and information related to the National and Provincial Elections of 2014  but also contains comparative statistics of previous elections.

It is a unique publication in the electoral domain worldwide, the strength of which lies in the fact that in-depth and detailed information relating to election results is presented using maps and other graphics to make the information highly visible and easy-to-understand.

The Atlas of Results is a fundamental part of the work of the Electoral Commission in strengthening constitutional democracy. It provides all political parties and interested stakeholders with the same substantive information, which many would otherwise not have had the resources to compile.

The Atlas of Results enables respective political parties to analyse their electoral performance and to determine their future electoral campaign strategies. It also provides the media with trend analysis and is an authoritative source for political analysts, political scientists and students alike.

Even though it reflects voting patterns of the national and provincial elections rather than municipal elections, the publication is an important tool for usage by political parties in the forthcoming 2016 Municipal Elections.

The Atlas of Results comprises detailed electoral data on the following themes:
1. Voting district delimitation, which looks at the voting districts for the 2014 elections and how these have changed over the years;
2. Voter registration statistics for the 2014 elections including voter registration activity and density per municipality;
3. Demographic analysis of the voters roll, which is analysed by age and gender per province and municipality;
4. Election results at a national and provincial level, including voter turnout and spoilt votes;
5. Political party results (including leading party, party support, lead/lag analysis and party support variance)
6. Voter participation by age, gender and voting time.

Of particular interest, the Party Support map is done per party and each of the voting districts coloured with the percentage support that each party obtained, ranging from lower percentages in grey, through green, blue and purple towards higher percentages.

The Lead or Lag Analysis indicates the winning margin percentage over the second party (lead) or the percentage behind the winning party (lag) for a particular party.

A recent addition to the Atlas of Results publication is the Party Support Variance. In this theme, a party’s performance is measured against its own previous election performance and shows areas of gain or loss in percentage support across the various municipalities.

The Atlas of Results has already received international recognition for its contribution to transparency and accessibility. At a ceremony held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on 14 November 2015, the Atlas was awarded the International Electoral Award for Accessibility in an event hosted by the Mexican Electoral Commission and the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies.

Electronic copies of the Atlas of Results are available for download on the Electoral Commission website at www.elections.org.za

ISSUED BY THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Ensuring free and fair elections 
For media queries: Please contact Kate Bapela on 082 600 6386
For media interviews: Please email requests to spokesperson@elections.org.za