Local Government Elections, Election Campaigns

WATCH: IEC pushes tech innovations for 2021 elections

WATCH: IEC pushes tech innovations for 2021 elections

2021-09-18 01:41:00 PM

WATCH: IEC pushes tech innovations for 2021 elections

The Electoral Commission is pushing a host of new technological innovations for a new generation of voters.

ShareThe Electoral Commission is pushing a host of new technological innovations for a new generation of voters in the upcoming elections set to take place on 1 November 2021.Elections have been around for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks held a form of elections as early as 500 B.C. where each year voters, who were the male land owners, were asked to vote for the political leader or"candidates" they most wanted to be exiled for the next ten years!

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These days elections are usually more positive – where we elect those people we want to represent us and our interest in legislatures such as municipal councils.But the fact elections have been around and the basis system of voting hasn’t changed too much in thousands of years doesn’t mean there is no room for innovation and technological advances!

Each year the Electoral Commission (IEC) uses technological innovations to improve its efficiency and accuracy along with enhancing the effectiveness and reach of its education and communication initiatives.The 2021 Municipal Elections scheduled to take place on 1 November are no different. headtopics.com

A new voter management deviceAmong the major innovations to be implemented for this year’s Municipal Elections is the introduction of new voter management devices to replace the aging fleet of “zip-zip” scanners used over the past 15 years.The IEC is currently taking delivery of 40 000 new generation devices which it believes will significantly enhance the speed, accuracy and integrity of the voter registration and participation process.

Election officials are being trained to use the devices during the voter registration weekend on 18 and 19 September 2021, when more than 23 000 voting stations will be open countrywide from 8am to 5pm both days, and other registration initiatives.The devices allow for the instant electronic capture of voters’ registration details including addresses and, where network coverage allows, to help check that you, the voter, are being registered in the correct ward using GPS technology.

Their use goes beyond voter registration, however. Crucially on election day, the devices will provide access to a real-time voters’ roll which will allow election officials to detect if any voter has already presented themselves at a voting station to vote. This should put paid to any lingering concerns about possible double voting.

In addition, the devices will assist the IEC with ballot paper tracking, managing electoral staff attendance registers, and other admin requirements.The introduction of the new device has obvious implications in respect of the skills required for electoral staff. Computer literacy is paramount to operating the device and assessing the level of competence of electoral staff. This require the recruitment of election staff with new skills and capabilities, and opens the way for more young South Africans to gain experience with the IEC. headtopics.com

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e-LearningIt is for this reason that the IEC has also introduced e-Learning for the training of election officials.E-Learning is a platform that uses electronic media and computer technology to deliver learning material. There are numerous benefits to delivering training via e-Learning methods, which include:

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