Johannesburg – A final report by the Statistician-General has revealed there were “negligible risks of double voting” in the 2019 national and provincial elections, the Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Thursday.
The IEC last week confirmed it would conduct an audit of results and votes after allegations of electoral fraud emerged following election day.
Reports emerged that voters were able to cast their vote multiple times after removing the indelible ink. Police later confirmed that at least 22 people were arrested in connection with these incidents.
The IEC at the time said the audit would cover a statistically representative sample of voting stations as well as all voting stations where complaints or allegations of double voting have been received.
This audit was conducted by Statistics SA based on voting station result data from 1020 voting stations.
The IEC in a statement said Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke’s report into the use of Section 24A votes at the sample of voting stations revealed negligible risks of double voting.
“The report was intended, in addition to the set of internal validations already applied by the commission in determining the freeness and fairness of the election based on the likelihood of multiple voting.
“The selected voting stations provide a statistically reliable sample of voting around the country. The sample size was selected to provide a very high degree of reliability with a 3% margin of error.
The IEC further said: “The analysis compared the occurrence of Section 24A votes in a voting district to the mean number of Section 24A votes in the ward.
“If the Section 24A votes in a voting district were significantly higher than instances of Section 24A votes in the ward this would be flagged as an indicator of potential deviation from the voting process”.
The commission said it was satisfied that the use of Section 24A voting was consistent with previous elections and showed a significant deviation from the pattern in only a tiny number of voting stations in the sample (13 out of 1020 or 1.27%).
Even in these isolated instances, the commission said it was satisfied that the trend compared favourably with previous voting patterns in voting stations with low registration levels.
The IEC thanked Maluleke and his team for the independent validation.
“The final report of the Statistician-General has been provided to all contesting political parties,” the commission said.