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IEC in search of new voter registration devices

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The Electoral Commission eyes 60 000 new portable voter registration devices. (Source: IEC Twitter)
The Electoral Commission eyes 60 000 new portable voter registration devices. (Source: IEC Twitter)

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is looking to procure new voter registration devices to replace the “ageing existing registration devices” known as Zip-Zip scanners.

Introduced in 1998, the mobile handheld scanners were used to improve efficiency at voting stations and verify people on the voters’ roll. In 2009, it was revealed the IEC allocated a large portion of its technology budget to purchase 30 000 Zip-Zap units.

It now appears the independent electoral body is ready to bid farewell to the devices that have been a feature of elections in SA for many years.

In a statement, the IEC notifies interested parties it will soon issue a tender for the procurement of new voter registration devices to support the process of voter registration and manage the voters’ roll on voting day.

The statement adds the commission wants a total of 60 000 such portable devices.

It states: “Potential suppliers should note the scope of this tender may include the maintenance and repair of the devices over their intended lifespan, which is at least 10 years.

“In terms of the tender, a staggered delivery of the devices is envisaged, commencing two months from the date the award is made and concluding no later than March 2021.

“Potential bidders must note this tender reflects a significant departure from current voter registration practices by the Electoral Commission. The approach used to date, that of scanning an identity document and recording the data, is now outdated and inadequate for future purpose. The Electoral Commission intends to harness advances in appropriate technology and apply them in this solution,” reveals the statement.

According to the IEC, it aims to advertise the tender in the Government Gazette and National Treasury eTender Portal by the end of November. Only suppliers registered on Treasury’s Central Supplier Database (CSD) will be considered for the tender.

To register on the CSD system, click here.

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