IEC defends use of VMDs as some frustrated voters blame them for long queues

One of the biggest frustrations with voters appeared to have been the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)'s newly introduced voter management devices (VMDs).

The new Voter Management Device that will be used to improve data capturing of voters for elections in South Africa. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Vote counting continues on Tuesday morning after what analysts have described as a dismal turnout at the municipal elections.

By 5pm on Monday, just over 8 million qualifying voters had cast their ballots from 26 million names on the voters roll.

One of the biggest frustrations with voters appeared to have been the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)'s newly introduced voter management devices (VMDs).

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The long queues seen at some of the country's polling stations may have indicated eagerness on the part of voters but there were other possible explanations too.

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Many people pointed to the IEC's newly introduced voter management devices which were first used during the voter registration weekend in September.

The commission opted for the new technology, saying that it would make the voting process more efficient, especially with tracking voters' registration details.

IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini has defended the VMD's, saying that they helped to eliminate human error.

"At this stage we have conclusive proof and evidence that it's not the VMD failure and we can put it before anybody, scientifically, to scrutinise it," Mashinini said.

The IEC has however conceded that it had limited time to upload certain information after the Constitutional Court ruled that the elections be held no later than 1 November, saying that those who were left off the voter's roll should contact the commission for assistance.

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