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Local Elections 2021: How to report electoral fraud

By

Oct 26, 2021

With only a few days to go, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is geared and ready for the Municipal Elections, which will take place on 1 November 2021.

The IEC said more than 23 000 voter registration sites are open across the country between 8:00 and 17:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Make sure to get to your nearest station and register if you have not yet registered.

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Let’s look at what to do when you suspect that electoral fraud has taken place:

In terms of section 78 of the Municipal Electoral Act, the Electoral Court has jurisdiction in respect of all electoral disputes and complaints about infringements of the Electoral Code of Conduct.If you suspect that a party or a candidate has breached the Electoral Code of Conduct, you need to report them to the Electoral Court. The Secretary of the Court can be contacted on telephone number: 051 412-7400.Find the Electoral Court’s rules regulating electoral disputes and complaints about infringements of the Electoral Code of Conduct and rules regulating the conduct of the proceedings of the Electoral Court at www.elections.org.za.

The IEC furthermore said following a global rise in disinformation, especially via digital platforms, and its potential impact on elections, it is once again making available an innovative online reporting platform to report instances of alleged digital disinformation during the 2021 Municipal Elections.

Play your part! Help us make #LGE2021 free from fraud.

• Do not provide false information to electoral officials.
• Do not vote in a district where you aren’t allowed to vote.
• Do not attempt to vote twice in an election. pic.twitter.com/ufGc35Xezr

— IEC South Africa (@IECSouthAfrica) October 19, 2021

ALSO READ: Local Elections 2021: Here’s how to find your nearest polling station

The digital platform is intended for complaints related only to social media and is not intended to replace existing channels and processes for investigating alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct.

“Developed in conjunction with Media Monitoring South Africa, a non-governmental organisation focused on promoting independent, accurate and impartial reporting on elections, the platform will provide for the online submission and tracking of complaints relating to disinformation encountered on social media platforms.”

Electoral Commission Vice-Chairperson Janet Love said the dissemination of disinformation has huge potential to undermine the fairness and credibility of elections.

“It also threatens democratic political and policy-making processes. Credible information is the lifeblood of all democracies. Trustworthy information is crucial in the process that enables citizens to choose their leaders.

There has already been commitment to and contributions from the platforms to providing training to enable the identification of disinformation and to maximise the positive communication opportunities that digital platforms potentially provide.

This has been offered to a wide range of role-players, including political parties. Working to counteract misinformation and distortions from becoming the focus of citizens, the Electoral Commission and MMA have entered into this ground-breaking agreement to cooperate with the four major social media platforms,”

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