IEC website problems on election day

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) website returned errors as some voters took to the polls on Wednesday.

The site allows voters to check where they are registered and which polling station they should visit.

Navigating to the IEC’s website returned a generic error stating that a problem had occurred.

“OOPS! — Something went wrong,” it said.

“A problem has occurred on the page you were trying to access. Please try again. If this error continues, please contact support.”

Trying to load specific pages previously returned a Microsoft ASP.NET custom error page stating that the web application error cannot be viewed remotely for security reasons.

The IEC has since fixed this and appeared to redirect users to a custom error page.

Likely, the issue was caused by a flood of traffic to the IEC’s webserver.

Between 09:50, when voters first started reporting the errors, and the time of publication, the issue appeared to have been resolved.

By 10:15, voters could check their registration status again.

IEC website custom error page
IEC website generic ASP.NET error page

The IEC recently came under fire for having outdated information on its site regarding whether voters could cast their ballots at polling stations other than the one where they were registered.

This caused consternation on the eve of the elections when many people realised for the first time that the rules had changed in 2021.

Until recently, the IEC website stated that voters were allowed to cast their national and provincial ballots at another polling station.

However, the IEC explained in various public communications that this was no longer possible.

“Section 24A was amended in 2021 principally to safeguard the outcome of elections after reports in 2019 emerged that some voters were able to vote in separate voting stations,” the IEC told one voter on Twitter/X.

“Voters are now only able to vote where they are registered if they did not apply for a Section 24A vote that would allow them to vote outside their registered voting district.”

The submission window for Section 24A notices was from 15 March to 17 May.

This was outlined in the election timetable, published in the Government Gazette in late February 2024.

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IEC website problems on election day