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Dispelling the Myths that Surround South Africa’s Elections

As voting commenced on Monday, several myths and concerns emerged online regarding the election process. Some voters worried that the double envelope system for special votes violated ballot secrecy, but the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) assured that this system has been used before, and voter details are separated from ballots to maintain anonymity. Concerns about potential election violence were fueled by memos from organizations like FirstRand and Fidelity, highlighting risks, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal. The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) deemed widespread violence unlikely, citing improved police and private security coordination since the 2021 riots. The IEC also debunked rumors about pens with evaporating ink and pre-marked ballots, affirming that all provided pens use standard ink and that ballot papers are not tampered with. Despite some disruptions due to protests and taxi strikes, the IEC reported that voting proceeded normally at most stations and is working to ensure all affected voters can cast their ballots safely.

SOURCE: DAILY MAVERICK