What to expect on Election day

On Election Day – Wednesday 8 May – voting stations will open from 7am until 9pm to allow the 26.7 million registered voters to cast their ballots for the national and provincial elections.

Voting stations will be staffed by approximately 189 000 election officials who have volunteered and been trained over the past two months to conduct the elections.

How voting will happen at the voting station

On average there will be 8 election officials per voting station which includes the Presiding Officer, Deputy Presiding Officer and officials to perform the various aspects of the voting process including:

  • Assisting voter’s in the queue including checking that they have the right identification documents (only green barcoded ID book, a smartcard ID or a valid temporary ID certificate is accepted)
  • Scanning the voters’ ID document and checking the voter’s name against the voters’ roll
  • Inking the voter’s left thumb with indelible ink
  • Stamping and issuing the voter with a national and provincial ballot paper

Officials are also available to capture addresses for voters, whose addresses do not appear on the voters’ roll.

Each political party is also permitted to deploy two party agents at every voting station to oversee and monitor voting and counting.

Domestic and international observers will also be deployed to voting stations around the country. Sixty six observer organizations have been accredited by the IEC.

Voting stations will close at 9 pm on Election Day – but all voters who are in the queue to vote at 9 pm will be allowed to vote.

Ballot paper improved for 2019 General Elections

The IEC has improved the ballot with the following innovations:

1)   The 2019 ballot papers have been redesigned to enable easy identification of the party of choice by the voter, to facilitate the selection of that party with confidence and to minimise risks of miscast ballots.

2)   For visually impaired and special needs voters the Commission has produced TEN customised voting aids called Universal Ballot Templates (UBTs) to fit the newly designed 2019 national and provincial ballots. Each voting station will have a UBT to accommodate the national ballot and one for the provincial ballot.

3)   For all voters, the Commission has developed large posters showing the national ballot and the provincial ballot.  These will be displayed in each voting station to help the voters easily distinguish the different parties on the ballot list.

Once the voting station closes, the counting of votes begins immediately at the voting station. The counting is conducted by election officials and is witnessed by party agents and observers.

The results slip for each voting station is completed by the Presiding Officer and is signed by party agents who are also encouraged to take a photograph of the results slip to allow them to compare it to the final result captured on the results system.

One copy of the results slip is posted on the door of the voting station while the second copy is taken back to the local IEC office where is it scanned into the results system and the results data captured through a double-capture process to reduce any human error.

She said that the captured results are compared against the scan of the results slip and audited by independent auditors before being transmitted to the national and provincial results operations centres where they immediately and simultaneously become available to the Electoral Commission, political parties, observers and the media.

Voters can check their voting station location by SMSing their ID number to 32810 (R1) and can reach the Contact Centre on 0800 11 8000 for all enquiries regarding the elections.

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