Voting stations across the country are already teeming with
activity, as South Africa embarks on its sixth democratic election.
Election Day has finally arrived, providing South Africans
the sacrosanct opportunity to make their mark on the country’s future. With excitement
levels reaching a palpable climax, it’s easy to get swept up in the frenzy –
not that that’s a bad thing. There are, however, a few important points to take
note of; points which ensure smooth sailing on Election Day and, more
importantly, mitigate any foul play at your voting station.
The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC),
which is committed to ensuring free and fair elections, has issued a final
report for South Africans to take note of. It would be wise to go through the
following checklist to safeguard yourself against electoral headaches and
Before heading to your voting station
Here’s how you can find out where to cast your vote and what limitations apply if you choose to vote outside of your district or province. Before beginning the journey to your voting station, make sure that you are sufficiently prepared to cast your vote.
- You must be registered to vote – double-checking never hurts
- You must take a valid ID document – either a green barcoded ID book, a smartcard ID or a valid temporary ID certificate.
Once at your voting station
So you’ve shown your valid ID document to the electoral
official at your IEC voting station and have been cleared to vote in the 2019
elections – there are still issues to be aware of. These issues have been
raised and reiterated by the IEC following reports of electoral irregularities
- You must receive two ballot papers – one for the national election and the other for the provincial – if you are voting in your registered province
- Make sure that both of these ballot papers are stamped at the back by an election official
- Make your mark and then place your marked ballot papers into a ballot box
- Do not take a photograph of your ballot paper – this is a criminal offence and could land you in a lot of hit water. Rather take a photo of your ‘voters thumb’ once you’ve left the voting station.
Reporting any irregularities or suspicious behaviour
The IEC has vowed to investigate all reports of electoral
misconduct, which includes any breach of the Electoral Code of Conduct by any Commission
official or political party representative.
Complaints must be directed to the Electoral Court or the
Directorate for Electoral Offences. The Secretary of the Court, Samkelo
Mgxekwa, can be contacted on:
Telephone: (051) 412-7400 / 7494
The Directorate for Electoral Offences can be reached via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Complaints of digital disinformation must be reported via
the IEC’s online platform, “The Real 411” (www.real411.org).