Ballot Dispute: ActionSA Request Turned Down

The Electoral Court on Friday sided with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and ruled against ActionSA’s request to have the ballots reprinted to include the party’s name.

ActionSA had complained to the Electoral Court that the IEC was refusing to change the ballots to include its name – meaning the ballots would have a blank space where the party’s abbreviations were meant to be.

ActionSA suggested that the IEC use its full name in the abbreviation space so that voters could easily identify the party. This would entail a reprint of the ballots or alternatively adding identifying stickers.

The matter was heard on Thursday on an urgent basis.

Although the Electoral court did not give reasons for its ruling, on Thursday advocate Michael Bishop for the IEC argued: “The commission also lacks the capacity to comply with such and order”.

The local government elections are set for 1 November, just over a week from now.

Responding to the ruling on Friday, ActionSA said it has received the “disappointing news that the Electoral Court has found against our application”.

The party added: “While we are disappointed by the outcome, ActionSA is dedicated to the rule of law and we respect the outcome of the court and the experience of the jurists who presided over our matter”.

ActionSA said it was turning its attention to the “extraordinary measures we will implement to ensure that voters are able to locate Action SA on the ballot papers”.