IEC goes high tech to address voter fraud

The Voter Management Device, or VMD, also has the ability to capture an address during registration and to verify the address against ward boundaries.

FILE: A voter placing her marked ballots into the local and national ballot boxes on 8 May 2019. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - A new electronic device promises to address voter fraud.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that the portable registration devices would allow for enhanced voter registration and monitoring of voter participation in real-time.

The voter management device, or VMD, also has the ability to capture an address during registration and to verify the address against ward boundaries.

Deputy chief electoral officer, Masego Sheburi, said that the new device had access to a live voters roll linked to their central database.

"So if Masego presents himself at the voting station where he is registered in the morning, he is processed and given the number of ballot papers that he's entitled to, at that point, we mark on the machine that that person has already participated in the election."

He said that it would prohibit people from voting twice.

"That sends a message to the database to update so that when you present your ID number subsequently at another voting station the database has already updated to indicate that the ID number has already participated."

In the past, there have been complaints about people casting more than one ballot.

The IEC will run a national voter registration weekend on 17 and 18 July ahead of the local government elections in October.

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