Anger and frustration as Pretoria West voting station runs out of ballot papers

08 May 2019 - 15:43 By GRAEME HOSKEN
Voters play soccer as after ballot paper shortages at the Pretoria West High School resulted in long queues and long waits on Wednesday May 8 2019.
Voters play soccer as after ballot paper shortages at the Pretoria West High School resulted in long queues and long waits on Wednesday May 8 2019.
Image: ALON SKUY

Voting has been delayed for hours at a polling station in Pretoria West after a ballot paper shortage.

By around 3pm, queues were stretching out of Pretoria West High School, with irate voters demanding to know when they will get their chance to vote.

IEC officials, speaking to TimesLIVE anonymously, said the ballots ran out just before lunchtime.

“There are over 4,000 registered voters here. We had ballots for most of the morning. By mid-morning we realised there was a problem. We just didn't realise how quickly we would run out," the official said.

He said that they had battled for two hours to get more ballots delivered.

“We have the papers. We just hope people will remain patient and not leave.”

A voter, wearing ANC regalia, said she was angry about what happened.

“I understand that some people who are working may come to a voting station close to their work, but the IEC should have contingency plans in place to deal with this.

"Its unacceptable that they run out of papers,” she said, asking for her name not to be used.

Tshwane University of Technology student Sipho Dlamini, who is a first time voter, said he was disappointed.

“Everything was going. Even though the queues were long it was moving.

"When the ballots ran out people became upset. With the queues now so long people are worried they wont be able to vote by the cut-off times.”

Gauteng IEC official Tshepo Makena said the shortfalls had been addressed and additional stock sent to the station.

“There are enough ballots for all stations. There are contingency plans to address shortfalls with buffer stock. “There will be enough papers for people to vote.”

TimesLIVE takes you through the country on Election Day on May 8 2019.


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