DA wins court battle as IEC is ordered to verify more than 200 KZN voters’ addresses
The Electoral Commission (IEC) has been ordered to verify more than 200 registered voters’ addresses, even if it means going door to door in Umdoni on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.
The DA hauled the IEC to the Electoral Court because the party did not believe 235 people, who registered to vote in a by-election, lived in the ward.
On Wednesday, DA provincial chair Dean Macpherson MP welcomed the “precedent-setting” judgement, saying the fact the court returned a judgment 24-hours after arguments were made by both parties “speaks to the flimsy justifications put forward by the IEC as to why they do not have to do their job and ensure free and fair elections”.
“The by-election was originally scheduled to take place on February 23 2022. After the registration weekend was held in January 2022, the DA identified 235 people who had registered to vote who we believed did not reside in the ward.
“In a ward the DA won in the local government elections in November 2021 by 37 votes, it was our contention that the risk of ‘bussing’ in voters was extremely high and a certain political party would attempt to register voters who did not reside in the ward in an attempt to win the ward,” he said.
The DA objected to “these suspicious voters” and the inadequate process undertaken by the IEC to verify their true status.
“The IEC undertook two separate ‘investigations’ in an attempt to verify the questionable voters, of which both were insufficient, as the DA set out, and found to be invalid by the court. What the IEC tried to argue is that they are not required to verify voters’ addresses and only have to determine if they are in the right ward.
“The DA is pleased the court has found the IEC must verify a voter’s address, even if it means going door to door. This may be a precedent-setting judgment, especially for local elections where the risk of moving voters around by political parties is high,” said Macpherson.
The DA will wait for the full judgment to be released before determining what further action may be taken against the IEC.
“It is still unthinkable why the IEC has wasted precious resources opposing our application, and their conduct leaves a lot to be desired,” said Macpherson.
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