Counting of votes completed: IEC

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EVERYTHING COUNTS: 26.3 million voters eligible to vote in 2016 Municipal Elections

IEC chief says that counting of votes has been completed in all but a handful of voting stations

The Electoral Commission is pleased to report that counting of votes has been completed in all but a handful of voting stations.

Election officials under the watchful gaze of party agents and observers spent the night sorting and counting ballots at their voting stations to produce results slips for each of the voting stations.

Once these were signed by election officials and party agents, a copy is posted on the voting station door and a copy is taken to the municipal electoral office or a regional results centre where the results are captured onto the results system. Party agents were encouraged to also take photographs of the results slips as an extra check.

As at 11h00 today 77.8% of results had been captured.

Following the capture process, the results are then subjected to independent audit verification before being finalised. The results slip is also scanned so that it can be compared to the results on the system.

This process is now underway in all provinces and will continue until all results have been finalised.

By 11h00 today the entire process was almost complete for the Northern Cape with 99% of results finalised and results only outstanding for a few wards of the Sol Plaatjie Municipality.

The Western Cape was following closely behind with 84% completed, the Eastern Cape with almost 80% completed and the Free State with 74% complete. In Mpumalanga 60% of results were complete while both KwaZulu-Natal and the North West reported 55% complete. Gauteng and Limpopo had completed approximately 47% of results by 11h00.

The Electoral Commission is aware that South Africa is now eagerly awaiting the outcome of these elections but we appeal for patience from all stakeholders to allow the process to follow due diligence and accuracy. In terms of Section 5(1)(n) of the Electoral Commission Act, the Commission must declare results within seven days after elections.

The Electoral Commission would like to thank the millions of voters who braved the cold, windy weather to make their mark and have their say in the 2016 Municipal Elections.

The Electoral Commission is proud that once again South Africans have voted peacefully, patiently and passionately.

The Electoral Commission is also deeply grateful for the tireless work of the nearly 200 000 election officials who worked from very early yesterday morning to very early this morning in many cases to complete the voting and counting process. A special word of thanks must go to those stationed in temporary structures who completed their tasks with limited light and warmth.

Our sincere thanks also go to the tens of thousands of party agents and observers who stayed throughout to oversee the process to ensure its integrity.

The Electoral Commission has noted reports of a disruption at the Johannesburg results centre early today. The capture of results is centralised in Johannesburg and delays occurred early today when large numbers of Presiding Officers converged in a short space of time to deliver their results slips and security materials.

Eager to return home for rest after a long day and a cold night, some tempers frayed understandably during these delays. The Electoral Commission deployed the Vice Chairperson and the Provincial Electoral Officer to the centre and the situation was quickly resolved.

The Electoral Commission is not aware of any results slips which have gone missing in Johannesburg.

At this morning’s meeting of the National Political Party Liaison Committee which has just ended, political parties called on all South Africans to also be responsible when it comes to reporting on unverified claims about the elections. Hoaxes and misinformation must not be allowed undermine the confidence in the outcome of the elections.