Distribution of new ballot papers for Special Electors successfully completed
The Elections and Boundaries Commission, (EBC) wishes to advise all candidates contesting the upcoming Local Government Elections, political parties, and the general public that in response to a procedural error, new ballot papers have been issued for use by Special Electors in the December 2, 2019 elections.
The collection of these ballots and arrangements for voting for Special Electors remains on target. No person, who applied to be treated as a Special Elector had as yet collected any of these ballot papers as the collection process is only scheduled to begin on Saturday, November 23, 2019. As such no Special Elector has been adversely affected contrary to statements made by political parties and reported in the media.
On Wednesday November 20, 2019, when the process of issuing ballot papers to Special Electors was being conducted, the Chief Election Officer, was made aware that some Returning Officers had deviated from the prescribed procedure. The procedure requires the Returning Officers to affix their respective initials to the back of the ballot paper and nothing else. Some Returning Officers admitted to writing Polling Station numbers on the back of the ballot papers in addition to affixing their initials; some wrote “SPECIAL” on the back of the ballot papers and some wrote “SP”.
The public is advised that ALL incorrectly endorsed ballot papers have been retrieved and the Commission shall request that the Government Printer destroy these defective ballot papers and provide certification of same.
Through the Department’s vigilance and strict adherence to the Election Rules, a situation that could have potentially, negatively impacted this upcoming election was averted in a timely manner. This swift and decisive action is in keeping with our mandate to safeguard the democratic process.
The Commission has noted the concerns expressed by some the political parties but gives every assurance that this incident will not affect the 2019 Local Government Election.
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