Following the many reported discrepancies during the 2019 general elections, such as double voting, many South Africans called for voting to be done electronically in the future. According to experts, e-voting may strengthen the credibility of elections.
Speaking on Cape Talk, a senior researcher at the Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights at the University of the Western Cape, Dr Tinashe Chigwata, explained exactly what e-voting would mean.
“Electronic voting means to cast on tally votes electronically,” he said. “A stand-alone electronic machine is used for voting purposes under the supervision of the electoral management. The second one is where one makes use of a computer to cast a vote through the internet. The most comprehensive form of electronic voting basically uses of technology for vote input, vote recording, data encryption and tabulation of election results.”
The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) announced that it will conduct an urgent audit of votes to determine whether allegations of double voting are true following the 2019 general elections.
“The final number and selection of the voting station sample for the audit will be determined with the help of expert statisticians. The process was endorsed by political parties in the party liaison committee today,” the commission said. “By law, the Electoral Commission has seven days in which to announce the election results and is confident this audit exercise will be completed in time to provide assurance of the integrity of the election results within this period.”
Four KZN voters have already been arrested for alleged double voting.
“The Electoral Commission gives its assurance to South Africa that it will only announce results where it is 100% confident in the integrity and legitimacy of those results,” the Electoral Commission said.