What is the counting process?
At the end of polling, the ballot box is sealed and the polling station prepared for the count. Ballots are emptied from the ballot box onto the counting table. If more than one ballot box was used in polling, all boxes are opened and their ballots mixed together for counting.
PCC officials count the total number of ballots cast and perform two reconciliation checks to account for all ballots. Total ballots, and ballots stamped and signed are compared with the number of voters who voted in the polling station.
Each ballot is examined page by page in front of observers and before a camera to ensure that the ballot is intact and if the ballot is valid or invalid. The ballot is then ‘read’ and announced for which list and which candidate(s) the ballot is marked. The list vote is recorded on a tally board and the candidate votes on a flipchart. Ballots are then stacked in piles.
When all ballots have been read, the ballots in each stack are totalled and checked with the tally of votes for lists. Votes for candidates are then also totalled. The results of counting are then recorded on a counting results form which is posted outside the polling station. The results data is also entered into the electronic system.
The PCC Chair takes the results data and all materials to the District Election Committee Results center, where they are tabulated and aggregated in front of agents and observers.
Please refer to the IEC's Manual on Polling and Counting for more detailed information.
How are the results processed?
After aggregation of the votes won by each list and each candidate is completed by the District Election Committee, the results are sent to a Special Commitee for audit and verification, and for the calculation for the number of seats won by each list and which candidates have won those seats. These preliminary results are then publicly announced. There is no deadline for results announcement, but they will be expected late on 21 September. The IEC will then announce the final results, pending any appeal.
What rights do citizens have in challenging the results?
It is the responsibility of the judiciary to adjudicate the validity of the representation of the members of the Chamber of Deputies. Each voter in a given district has the right to submit a contest to the Court of Appeal in the district to which the challenged candidate belongs within a period of 15 days as of the date of publishing election results in the official gazette. The voter must explain the reasons behind the contest. The decision of the court is final and in no way can be contested. The court issues its ruling within 30 days as of the date of receiving the contest.