If this is your first trip to the voting booth, or four years is just too long to remember these things, we’ve got your back with this quick reference of everything you’ll need to know and bring with you on 8 May.
In case you’re reading this and haven’t registered to vote, unfortunately, you’ve missed the boat. Registration closed some time back and only registered voters will be allowed to vote on election day.
How to vote in the 2019 elections
If you took the time to register, all you’ll need on the day is take your South African ID or Smart Card with the application sticker that was pasted in it when you registered, along with the form you received.
If for some reason you are not in your registered district on Election day, you may still be eligible to vote. You’ll need to go to your nearest election station and complete a form (VEC 4.)
The helpful IEC officials at the station will assist you. If you are in another province though you will not be allowed to vote in the provincial elections.
Once at the voting station, your ID will be scanned, and you can head into a booth and make your mark.
Follow the voting instructions carefully as filling out your ballot incorrectly can cause it to be ‘spoilt’, in which case your vote won’t count. A ballot is spoiled when the IEC counters are not able to identify the intention of the voter.
This can happen when the ballot is filled in incorrectly, words have been written on the ballot, more than one box is ticked, or the ballot is left unmarked.
In 2014, about 234 000 votes were spoiled which is more votes than some political parties who got seats in the National Assembly got. Here is a list of things you are not allowed to write on your ballot.
Voting abroad during the 2019 elections
If you’re voting abroad, you’ll have already submitted the VEC 10 form to notify the IEC of your intention to vote overseas. You can also check the status of your VEC10 notification online via the IEC portal.
There are obviously a few more steps involved when making your mark abroad, but your trip to the polls should be reasonably painless. On the day the process will be:
- Take both your green, bar-coded South African ID book; smartcard ID; or valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC) AND your valid South African passport or temporary passport to the foreign mission indicated on the confirmation we sent you via email or text. You can only cast your vote on the date specified in the election timetable. Under no circumstances can votes be cast on any other date.
- Your thumbnail is marked with indelible ink.
- Your ID book is stamped.
- You receive the national ballot paper.
- You mark the ballot in secret, place and seal the ballot in the unmarked envelope given to you.
- The unmarked envelope is placed in another envelope that is marked with your name and ID number. The use of two envelopes is to ensure the secrecy of your ballot; the outer envelope is discarded before counting.
- The envelope is placed in a secure ballot box for special votes.
You can find a comprehensive guide to voting here. It includes step-by-step instructions, as well as an explanation on voting districts, special votes and the IEC’s code of conduct.
In addition, keep up to date with election news by visiting The South African’s Election portal. Follow these links for more information about the political parties contesting the election, the political leaders, as well as previous election results.
(Source: The South African)