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South African IEC says recent elections were free and fair

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According to a survey on the recent national and provincial elections, South Africans were highly satisfied with their voting experience and believed the election procedures were free and fair.

This is according to the results of the Election Satisfaction Survey conducted on Election Day, Wednesday, 8 May 2019, by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Friday.

The survey was conducted at a sample of 300 voting stations countrywide that were deemed to be nationally representative.

“At each voting station, 50 voters were interviewed across four different time slots to ensure a fair reflection of the different conditions during the day,” the IEC said.

Among its findings, the survey showed that 97 percent of voters expressed satisfaction in the secrecy of their vote. Another 95% believed that the election procedures were free and fair, the IEC said.

“In terms of overall confidence in the Electoral Commission, 92 percent of voters indicated that they trust or strongly trust the Electoral Commission in general.

“The results are generally in line with the findings in both the 2014 national and 2016 local government elections. Encouragingly, the number of voters who said they were very satisfied with the secrecy of the vote grew from 62 percent in 2016 to 68.5 percent in 2019,” the commission said.

In terms of political party tolerance, the HSRC found that 64 percent of voters said parties were “very tolerant” of one another, while another 21 percent felt parties were “somewhat tolerant”.

This is a slight increase over 2016 when 61 percent of the voters said the parties were “very tolerant” of one another while 21 percent said they were “somewhat tolerant”.

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