IEC’s voter management devices cost just over R500 million

The voter management devices will replace the Zip Zip machines, which the IEC has used for over 20 years.

IEC Election official scans resident's barcoded I.D allowing them to start their voting process at 2019 Langa Red Cross Society voting Station 03. Picture: Bertram Malgas

JOHANESBURG - The 40,000 new voter management devices that will be used for the first time during the local government elections this year, have cost the Independent Electoral Commission just over R500 million.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo on Monday said the devices, which are essentially rugged iPads with four apps needed to run the elections on 1 November, operates online and will be able to integrate the IEC’s management system.

The voter management devices will replace the Zip Zip machines, which the IEC has used for over 20 years.

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The new system takes the IEC’s processes to new heights, allowing it to conduct live verifications against the national population register among other functions.

Mamabolo said: “Because of the challenges of the day, we needed to migrate to a more integrated equipment because with the Zip Zip, you scan and go back, then after a while you had to capture an address and so on. So, we believe voter management devices will allow us to integrate all those processes into one transaction at the voting station.”

With the new system online, Mamabolo said measures had been put in place to capture votes from stations where there was no network connectivity.

Mamabolo added that there were other improvements in the voting process that would be implemented for the first time this year.

The IEC hopes to get 26 million people registered on the roll by next Monday, with 25,6 million already on the roll.

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