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ActionSA laments over exclusion of their name from ballot paper

With 65% of the municipal votes having been announced, ActionSA says there is tangible proof that the absence of the party’s name from ward ballot papers has significantly prejudiced it.

  • ActionSA claims there is tangible proof that the absence of its name from ward ballot papers has significantly prejudiced the party. 
  • “The results reveal that we are sitting on 30% less on the ward ballot than we are on the PR ballot,” national chairperson Michael Beaumont has said.
  • The party is considering its options.

With 65% of the municipal votes having been announced, ActionSA says there is tangible proof that the absence of the party’s name from ward ballot papers has significantly prejudiced it.

Speaking to News24 from the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) results operation centre in Pretoria, ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont said the party’s analysis showed a significantly lower voting percentage in the ward ballot, which excluded the party’s name, compared to the proportional representation (PR) ballot.

“One of the things that we are busy analysing right now is the impact of the name absence on the ballot paper, on the ward ballot in particular actually, which does not have the name ActionSA, and the results are quite frightening. 

“The results reveal that we are sitting on 30% less on the ward ballot than we are on the PR ballot. You can argue that…this discrepancy may be as a result of vote splitting and that would be logical, but we are getting a very real sense that people really struggled to find ActionSA on the ballot paper, which is something that we are very concerned about. slide 1 of 1SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 27: Herman Mashaba Herman Mashaba campaigns in Soweto.Gallo ImagesPapi Morake, Gallo Images

“This is why we went to court [previously] and this is what we were trying to avoid…now there is potentially a very real prejudice that ActionSA may have to consider our approach to,” Beaumont said.

In the previous case before the Electoral Court, the IEC, through its legal representatives, cited previous judgments when it argued that for the relief ActionSA sought, there had to be actual prejudice that could be measured – not perceived prejudice.

Professor Narnia Bohler Muller said the HSRC interviewed 1 200 voters at 300 voting stations across all provinces. 95% of voters believed that the elections were free and fair.

Beaumont said the Electoral Court has still not shared its reasoning for ruling against the party

He also bemoaned the low voter turnout, saying that it is an indictment on politicians – not voters. slide 1 of 1Action South Africa leader Herman Mashaba (C) singHerman Mashaba stands with supporters at Action SA’s manifesto launch.AFPPhill Magakoe, AFP

“It’s (the low turnout) a subject of two things, I don’t think South Africans are lazy or lack engagement. That’s an indictment on politicians – not voters. Political parties have not given the electorate enough reasons to trust them and as a result, they have chosen to stay away. We as ActionSA are also not too naïve to believe that we can change all the voter dissatisfaction after just one vote.”

He added that another reason for the lack of participation in the elections was because the IEC had not made clear the measures it would be put in place to ensure that voting stations would not be super spreaders.

“I am a member of the party liaison committee and still didn’t fully understand what measures were going to be put in place. So imagine an ordinary citizen. How were they to believe that those stations [would be] safe?” he said.

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