Letter: Official would not replace my spoilt ballot

On the election day holiday I cast my vote for the Ward 11 candidate and political party at the Jarman Hall, on the corner of Jarman Road and Highfield Road, here in Schauderville. I made a mistake on my ballot paper, which I identified as the long one and went over to the table where the two ballot papers were issued, to request a new one.

There the IEC official called his senior to advise on my predicament. I was told by the senior IEC official there that there was nothing that could be done about the mistake I had made and that I could not get another ballot paper as they were numbered and in sequence.

I did not make a mistake on the shorter of the two ballots and was directed to put both ballots in one box. I left through the side exit and went home.

I then Googled the South African IEC voting procedure, only to find that I was within my rights to ask for another ballot paper to correct my mistake. The mistake was brought on by my not taking my spectacles with me to go to vote, thinking it was going to be a walk in the park as I had three other errands to accomplish.

I would like to know what redress do I have in a case like this, as to me the officials concerned did not know their duties at the Jarman Hall voting station? Were they not trained for such ballot mistake eventualities?

Surely this does not augur well for our South African slow maturing democracy, as we, the voters, need to know what rights we are afforded in the voting station, right down to the status quo as to a spoilt ballot paper replacement? What is the IEC position on spoilt ballot papers that voters seek to correct and seek redress at the point of scribing the ballot?

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