IEC officials add final touches to preparations for municipal elections

IEC officials are going over final preparations to ensure their data capturing processes is working optimally.

The IEC National Results Operations Centre in Tshwane. Picture Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

PRETORIA - Operations have started to pick up at the Tshwane events centre where the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) officials are adding the final touches to preparations for Wednesday's elections.

Earlier today, the commission gave an update at its national results centre where confirmed that the special voting process has started on a positive note.

With just two days left until South Africans cast their votes, the IEC says it hopes it can improve on whatever problems are identified over the next 24 hours.

Slowly but surely, the national results centre in Tshwane is coming alive as the build up to voting day on Wednesday intensifies.

IEC officials are going over final preparations to make sure their data capturing processes is working optimally.

It requires them to count the votes of more than 20 million people.

Based on the number of South Africans who have registered to vote this year, the IEC says these municipal elections will see a record turnout.

Across the results centre cameras, lights and sound equipment are being set up as members of the media also prepare to broadcast developments.

With all the activity happening in the facility, it's safe to say the 2016 municipal elections are certainly underway.

CONFIDENTIALITY ASSURED

At the same time, the IEC has assured those casting special votes that their choice of party will remain confidential despite voters having to submit their ballot papers in envelopes marked with their details.

The first day of special voting was today met with confusion by voters who were unclear about whether or not they should be attaching their particulars to their ballots.

The commission says the process is being done to keep track of those who have already voted and doesn't infringe on the rights of voters.

There's been confusion about the purpose behind submitting ballot papers in marked envelopes.

The IEC's Mosotho Moepya has assured voters that this is purely a quality control measure and doesn't jeopardise the anonymity of voters.

"We will only read from the outer part of the envelop but then when we mark your name off the voters' roll, we will remove the outer envelope and discard it."

While some voters say they were instructed to fill in these envelopes, others say the process wasn't followed at their voting stations.

The IEC says all voters casting a special ballot should be submitting a clearly marked envelope.