IEC ballot papers stolen in Soweto

File: The election pressure heats up as political leaders make a final push for votes.

File: The election pressure heats up as political leaders make a final push for votes.

eNCA

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JOHANNESBURG – Boxes containing Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) ballots for next week’s local government elections were stolen from a delivery vehicle in Diepkloof, Soweto, the commission said on Friday.

The stolen ballot papers were destined for wards 29 and 31 in Johannesburg.

The commission said police had recovered two sets of ballot booklets and that a number of others had been burnt.

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The recovered ballots would remain quarantined. Contingency measures were in place to replace the ballot papers at the voting stations affected, the IEC said.

It said the stolen ballots would have no impact on the integrity of the elections in the two wards.

“As part of our security measures, each ballot book has a unique serial number allowing the Electoral Commission to identify exactly which ballots are affected and to quarantine these immediately. Given the known identity of these ballots as well as the security features built into the ballot papers themselves, the Electoral Commission is confident that the loss of these ballot papers can have no impact on the integrity of the elections,” the IEC said.

“The numbers of the missing booklets for Ward 29 are 127 - 146 and for Ward 31 are 76 - 113. Each book has 100 ballot papers,” the IEC said.

A police investigation into the theft of the ballot papers was continuing.

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