What you need to know at the polls tomorrow

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

At least 87000 South Africans who will not be able to vote tomorrow cast their votes yesterday.

The special votes system is mainly for the physically disabled, pregnant women, election officials and security force members who will be on duty tomorrow

Those who will be temporarily out of the country tomorrow for either business or pleasure also qualified to vote yesterday.

The rest of the voters will go to the polls tomorrow

Why should people vote?

It is our responsibility to contribute to democracy by voting. Your one vote does make a difference.

The IEC records show 23181997 - including those who have already voted yesterday and outside the country - have registered to vote compared to 20674926 in 2004. This is an indication that more South Africans do believe that their vote can make a difference.

What do I need to vote tomorrow?

You need to have registered as a voter in your voting district.

You also need a green bar-coded South African identity document or a valid temporary identity certificate.

Where do I vote ?

You should vote at the voting station in the voting district where you registered to vote. The IEC has established 19726 voting stations across the country. About two thirds of the voting stations are located at schools.

What happens at the voting station?

When you arrive at the voting station the electoral officer will check your ID and hands to ensure that there is no ink on your fingers; verify if the photo in your green bar-coded ID is actually yours and verify that you are registered. Then he'll cross your name off the voters roll, mark your left thumb with indelible ink, issue two ballot papers, that is for provincial and national, direct you to a voting booth to cast your vote(s).

If the party you are voting for is only contesting the provincial election you make your cross on the provincial ballot paper only. If it is taking part in both provincial and national you make your mark on both ballot papers.

Once you have marked the ballot paper(s)) you must place them in the sealed ballot box.

Election day activity.

No political party events such as marches and public meetings, rallies and demonstrations are allowed anywhere on election day,

No political activity within the boundary of the voting station; (the boundaries of the voting station) will be marked with visible markings.

Voters can wear any clothing, including those with party logos but cannot canvass or influence any other voter while within the boundary of the voting station.

Parties are allowed to set up tents or tables outside the boundary of the voting station.

But the presiding officer at the voting station (who is appointed by the IEC) can request a party to move its table or tent if it impedes direct and free access to the polling station.

If the party fails to comply the presiding officer can ask for assistance from members of the security forces present to remove the table/tent.

Parties are allowed to have two party agents in the voting station.

The absence of a party agent does not invalidate the voting proceedings. Agents must wear identification prescribed by the IEC.