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Litigation: ActionSA wants millions of ballot papers ditched

ActionSA has taken its ballot-paper battle with the IEC to the Electoral Court as the country prepares for local elections on 1 November. A Business Day report says the party – angered by the omission of its name from the final draft ballot papers – is asking the court to reprint new ones that reflect its name next to the logo, arguing that the omission violates its constitutional rights and those of potential voters. Its counsel, Wendel Bloem, said that papers were filed overnight, and the party expects to get its day in court soon. ‘We are asking the court to direct that the commission must, without delay, include the name of the applicant on the 2021 municipal ballot paper and that the commission must destroy copies of ballot papers already published, reissue and reprint them, including the full name of the applicant,’ Bloem said.

However, the IEC says ActionSA failed to add its ‘abbreviated name’ when it initially registered as a party. ‘The absence of the abbreviated name of ActionSA on the ward ballots is because, at the point of registering as a party, ActionSA elected not to register an abbreviated name or acronym,’ said IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela. ‘ActionSA ... responded with a "not applicable" in the space where the political party was required to indicate its abbreviated name.’ ActionSA president Herman Mashaba said the party has no abbreviated name because its full name already complied with the IEC’s eight-character limit on abbreviated party names and could always be used in full.

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