2014 Elections FAQs

When do the elections take place?
South Africa goes to the polls on Wednesday 7 May 2014.

Who is eligible to vote?
Any South African citizen who is 18 years of age, has a green ID book, and is a registered voter, is able to vote. To confirm you're registered, you can check your voter registration status online or SMS your ID number to 32810.

What if I am not registered?
The Voter's Roll has closed, and if you did not register in time, you will not be able to vote.

If I don't have an ID book, can I still vote?
Voters must have a green bar-coded ID book in order to vote. If you have lost your ID book, you can apply for a Temporary Identity Certificate from the Department of Home Affairs.

Is it compulsory to vote?
No, you are not legally obliged to vote, although all South Africans are encouraged to participate in the elections.

Can I vote online or by mail?
No, you have to be in person at a voting station in order to cast your vote.

What is the difference between municipal and national and provincial elections?
National and provincial elections take place every five years, to elect the national and provincial governments. Municipal elections are held at a different time to elect local government.

What if I can't get to the voting station on the day?
If you're pregnant or infirm, you can apply for a special vote.

What is a special vote?
You can apply for a special vote if you're heavily pregnant or have a disability of physical infirmity; if you're out of the country on election day; if you're out of the country on government service; or if you're working as an election officer, or are a member of the election's security services. Find out more from the IEC website.

Will I be assisted if I am blind or disabled?
Yes, the presiding officer at the voting station will be on hand to assist those who require help. Blind voters can take someone into the voting station to help them cast their vote, as long as this person is at least 18 years old and not a party agent.

What if I'm out of the country on election day?
If you are a South African citizen and are registered to vote, you can apply for a special vote. This applies to national and provincial elections only.

Can I vote if I am South African but living overseas?
All South Africans with a valid SA ID book and a valid SA passport will be able to vote if they are registered. Click here to find your closest embassy, high commission or diplomatic mission. Note: you need a valid SA identity document and a valid SA passport in order to vote.

What if I'm in another town on election day?

You may vote at another voting district from the one you're registered at, but if you're in another province from the one you're registered in, you won't be able to vote in the provincial election, only the national election.

Can I vote if I'm in prison?
Yes, you can vote as long as you have your green ID book and are registered to vote.

Is it safe for me to vote?
Yes, the police and/or army are deployed to voting stations to ensure that there is security and no intimidation.

Is election day a public holiday?
It is up to the president to decide whether election day is a public holiday, which it normally is.

Where must I vote?
You should vote at the voting station where you are registered, unless you are unable to. To check where your voting station is, click here.

- Any more questions? Check the IEC's website.

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