By: Natasha Archary
In a few short weeks (27 days) South Africans will flock to polling stations to cast their ballots for the 2019 National and Provincial elections. As with previous elections, the process has often been called tedious. Stay on track of the admin with our quick guide to help you on voting day.
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Every South African, 18 and above, who has registered to vote will be given the chance to make their mark at the polls. You are able to check your voter registration status online.
You may also sms your ID number to 32810 to check your registration status. This will inform you of your ward and voting district as well as the voting station you will be allowed to vote at.
A special vote allows a registered voter who can’t vote on the 6 or 7 May (Provincial) or the 8 May (National) to vote on a predetermined day before election day.
By law you are allowed a special vote if you are physically unable to, disabled, pregnant or simply unable to get to a voting station on election day. You may also apply for the special vote online.
The special vote will mean voting officials will visit you at the address you provided on either the 6 or 7 May.
Registering to vote is the first step to exercising your democratic right to vote. You only have to register once. Unless you move and your voting district boundaries change. So, if you’ve voted in the past, you’re registered to vote.
You will need to take your green, barcoded ID book, smartcard ID or temporary identity certificate to the voting station in your voting district. You will receive confirmation of your registration within 7 days. Registration for the 2019 election is closed.
South African expatriates who wish to cast their vote need to submit a VEC10 form. This is to notify the IEC of your intention to vote abroad. If you have voted previously in South Africa, you are still registered but you will need to submit the VEC10 before the deadline in the election timetable or you will not be allowed to vote.
The voting process for South Africans within the country is much simpler. Once registered and your ID is scanned you will be handed two ballot papers. One for the National Election and one for the Provincial.
Simply cast your vote and drop your ballot into one of designated ballot boxes. Your thumb will be marked with ink to indicate that you have already voted, so you will not be allowed to duplicate a vote at another voting station.
Be mindful of
Make sure that your vote is in confidence. The IEC is serious about enforcing a Code of Conduct which provides voters a safe space to exercise their civic rights.
No political party should be allowed to entice voters nor campaign near a voting station. If you feel you are being intimidated by parties you may take this up with an IEC official at the voting station.
Anyone guilty of breaching the IEC’s Code of Conduct can be fined or sent to prison as it is a criminal offence. You could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. Should you wish to report an incident where the Electoral Code of Conduct has been breached, you may do so via the Electoral Court.
If you suspect your ballot sheet has been tampered with before you vote, bring it to the attention of the IEC official. You should not hand your marked ballot sheet to anyone in the voting station. Drop it into the ballot box personally.
Always remember your vote is your secret.