Elections 2014: a survival guide

2014-05-06 00:00

Democracy is a serious business. Here’s what you need to know about voting today.

You will need:

» Your green bar-coded ID book, with a sticker in it from registration day, or a smartcard ID or temporary ID certificate. You may not use your old blue/TBVC ID, drivers’ licence or passport. No copies of IDs will be accepted.

» Some free time between 7am and 9pm – that’s when voting stations are open. Today is a public holiday.

» Details of your voting station. Check where you are registered to vote here.

Frequently asked questions

» I’ve lost my ID book with the sticker in it. Can I still vote?

Yes, if your registration details and name appear on the voter’s roll and you have a temporary identity certificate that’s valid today. You can apply for this certificate at Home Affairs. Their offices will be open from 7am to 9pm today.

» I’m out of town today. Can I still vote?

You should vote at the station where you are registered. However, if you’re out of your district on May 7, you can go to another voting station. If you’re outside the province you registered in, you can only vote in the national election, not the provincial election. You’ll be asked to complete a form at the voting station.

» I registered at a temporary station? Where do I vote?

Find details of your voting station here.

Your voting station may change occasionally, depending on the availability of the venue and changes in voting district boundaries.

» Can I vote on someone else’s behalf – like if they can’t get to their voting station?

No, every voter must vote in person at the voting station.

» I’m a permanent resident. May I vote?

Only South African citizens who have a green, barcoded ID book can vote.

» I registered, but now I don’t want to vote. Will I be in trouble?

Voting is not compulsory. But, the IEC says, “voting is an important civic duty and we encourage all South Africans to participate”.

Political matters

» Are political parties allowed to put up posters at registration and voting stations?

No. Parties were only allowed to campaign until midnight last night.

» Can people wear party colours in the registration station?

A registration supervisor is the person in charge of a registration station. Neither this person nor any other IEC staff member can wear any political-party colours. Two party agents per party are allowed inside each registration station and they may wear their party colours, but they may not talk/canvass in the station. Members of the public can wear anything.

» Can I take a selfie with my marked ballot?

No. The IEC believes it can lead to intimidation.

Quick tips from the IEC

» Make sure that the back of your ballot paper is stamped before you make your mark.

» When folding your ballot paper, make sure the stamp on the back is visible so staff can see it before you place it in the ballot box.

» No one at a voting station has a right to see your marked ballot paper, and you are not required to tell

anyone who you are voting for.

» Lodge complaints immediately with the presiding or deputy presiding officer at the voting

station. If you aren’t satisfied with the handling of your complaint, email full details, including the

voting district number and people’s names, to iec@elections.org.za.

Source: Independent Electoral Commission

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