ONCE all votes have been cast on September 17, upon the immediate closure of the polls, the counting of ballot papers will be undertaken and completed in the 2000 polling stations across the country.
This process will be determined by Section 89 (1) of the Electoral Decree 2014. The Decree states that ballot paper counting will be done by the presiding officer and such election officials designated by him or her.
"The figures in the protocol of results must be entered by the presiding officer at each step of the counting process," states the Decree.
"Changes can be made to the figures already entered on a protocol of results, and if technical errors in any figures in the protocol of results are made during the counting process, the protocol of results must be amended, and the presiding officer must sign the amendments."
Once the errors have been signed off by the presiding officer, he or she must continue counting the votes until the count is complete.
Furthermore, Section 90 of the Decree states only the following persons may remain in a polling station at the opening of the ballot boxes and during the counting process: the presiding officer for the polling stations; the deputy presiding officer or assistant presiding officer (if any); election officials; and police officers who have been requested by the presiding officer or his or her representative for the sole purpose of restoring peace and order and only for the time necessary to do so.
This is in addition to one polling agent from each political party and independent candidate at any one time, observers, members of the Electoral Commission, the supervisor and any other person authorised by the supervisor.