Everything you need to know about voting on the 3rd of August

2016-08-02 06:45

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The municipal elections will take place this Wednesday the 3rd of August – it’s your chance to vote for the ward councillors to represent you in the local governments across the country.

The South African local government is comprised of 3 kinds of municipalities which are run by councils - eight metropolitan municipalities which are our big cities, 44 district municipalities which coordinate local municipalities in a region and 207 local municipalities which are towns and rural areas. The municipal council, which will be determined by the upcoming elections, governs the metropolitan municipality and works to make sure that the services such as sanitation, electricity, water and refuse are in working order and accessible to everyone in the community in which they serve.

Municipal elections are held every five years to elect councillors who will be responsible for governing a municipality for the next five years. This means your vote is vital in these elections in order to determine the future of your community.

The process of voting

When voting, voters in metros and local council areas will be given two ballot papers - one for a ward councillor and one for a political party as part of the PR section of the election and voters in areas which form part of a district council will also receive a third ballot paper for the district council election.

How to vote

You’ve decided you’re going to vote in the upcoming election, but not sure what to expect or what you have to do? Here’s the step-by-step guide from the IEC (The Electoral Commission)

1. Voting Stations will be open from 7am-7pm on the 3rd of August 2016.

2. Find your correct voting station. During municipal elections you must vote at the voting station where you are registered. To find the address for your correct voting station please go to elections maps or use the News24 elections app (Download the app for free at the Play Store or iStore). Most voting stations are located in community buildings like local schools, churches or community centres. Where buildings are not available, voting stations are set up in tents in parks or other open land. In some sparsely-populated rural areas, specially adapted vehicles are used as mobile voting stations. Every voting station has large clear signs outside marking it as a voting station.

3. Present your valid identification document to the door controller at the entrance of the voting station

4. Check that you are on the voters' roll. Once inside the voting station election officials will take your ID document and check for your name and identity number on the national common voters’ roll for that voting district. Your name will then be crossed off. An election official will then ink your left thumbnail. This is a special ink that will not wash off your nail for several days. This ink mark will show everyone that you have participated in the election!

5. Get your ballot papers. An election official will then hand you your ballot papers with a unique number and you must make sure that there is a stamp at the back of your ballot papers to verify that they were issued to you on that Election Day.

6. Get your identification documents stamped

7. Find an empty voting booth and make your 'X'. You will be directed to an empty voting booth. Here you will place your X in the box next to the political party and/or candidate of your choice. To avoid a spoilt ballot, ensure that you make only one mark on each ballot paper and that your mark is clear. If you make a mistake call an election official and they will provide you with a new ballot paper. When you are finished, fold your ballot papers in half and leave the voting booth. You are not allowed to photograph your marked ballot paper…no selfies please!

8. Cast your vote. An election official stationed at the ballot box will check that there is a stamp at the back of each of your ballots. Drop your completed ballot paper through the slot in the top of the ballot box.

Voting aid for voters with disabilities and special needs

The IEC together with the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB), has developed a voting aid, the Universal Ballot Template (UBT), to assist persons with disabilities and special needs to have an independent and secret vote during elections. For the disabled, unwell and pregnant a home visit is available for registered voters who are unable to get to their voting station on 3rd August.

It is important for every eligible voter to cast their vote at the municipal elections, as it is a direct way to say who runs their community and their ward and make an active decision about the future of their district.

How to keep up to date with all the election happenings and results:

News24 has launched an app designed to inform you on everything you need to know about this year’s municipal elections. The IAB Bookmarks Award-winning app keeps you informed about the latest news in your district with in-depth articles and features about all the various political parties. You can also check if you are registered and find your closest voting station and get up to the minute results for your municipality and across the country.

Download the free News24 elections on iOS or Android and keep up to date with the latest election news. Download the app at the Play Store or iStore

Source: elections.org.za

Read more on:    south africa  |  elections 2016
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