COMMENT

Commission to conduct sample audit of results – IEC

Data will be cross-referenced and compared to identify any instances of multiple voting

Commission to conduct sample Audit of Results

9 May 2019

The Electoral Commission will urgently conduct an audit of results and votes cast in a sample of voting stations to ascertain if double voting occurred.

The audit will cover a statistically representative sample of voting stations as well as all voting stations where complaints or allegations of double voting have been received. The final number and selection of the sample will be determined in conjunction with expert statisticians.

The process was endorsed by political parties in the party liaison committee today.

The audit will involve the capture of information showing the ID numbers of voters who cast votes at each voting station from the “zip-zip” scanners and completed VEC 4 forms.

This data will then be cross-referenced and compared to identify any instances of multiple voting to help establish scientifically whether such instances were isolated or systemic and what the material impact is, if any, to the results.

In most voting districts the VEC 4 forms and the zip-zips have already been returned to local offices as part of the roll-back of materials following the conclusion of counting.

The Electoral Commission has ordered the urgent docking of the zip-zip scanners to upload what information has been captured relating to voter participation. Additional resources will also be urgently identified and deployed from today to capture the information from the VEC 4 forms and zip-zips into spreadsheets to facilitate comparisons and data analysis.

By law the Electoral Commission has seven days in which to announce the results of the elections and is confident this exercise will be completed in time to provide assurance of the integrity of the results within this period.

The Electoral Commission is encouraged by the rapid arrest of four voters in KwaZulu-Natal in connection with alleged double voting. As noted yesterday, any attempt to vote more than once leaves a clear footprint in the electoral process and the suspects were tracked down using this information.

The Electoral Commission has also ordered an investigation into the effectiveness of the indelible ink marker pens supplied for the elections. The investigation will be done in conjunction with the CSIR and with the full cooperation and support of the supplier.

Approximately 200 000 pens were procured through the normal open tender process according to specifications set by the Electoral Commission. In an attempt to increase the effectiveness of the pens, the Electoral Commission had raised the percentage of silver nitrate from 15 percent used in previous elections to 20 percent.

Meanwhile the results capture and verification process continues and the Electoral Commission gives its assurance to South Africa that it will only announce results for elections where it is 100 percent confident in the integrity and legitimacy of those results.

The Commission calls on political parties, the media and all South Africans to show patience, calm and restraint as the process to ensure confidence is undertaken.

Issued by Kate Bapela on behalf of IEC, 9 May 2019