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Elections 2019: 15 things to remember at the voting booth

Confused about the voting? Here are the frequently asked questions and answers for voters from the IEC.

A general view of a ballot paper. Picture: Nthakoana Ngatane/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – As the country votes on Wednesday in national and provincial elections, many voters have questions about how the voting process works and whether they have all the required documents to cast their ballots.

Here are the frequently asked questions and answers for voters from the IEC:

1. Can I vote if I registered but have lost my ID?

You will need to apply for a Temporary Identity Certificate from the Department of Home Affairs that will be valid on election day.

2. What do I need to be able to vote on the day?

You are required to bring your South African, green, bar-coded ID, smartcard ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate along with you to a voting station. Voters whose addresses are not reflected on the voters' roll will be required to provide their address prior to voting. However, proof of address is not required.

3. How do I check that my ballot is valid?

Please ensure that both ballot papers on which you'll be casting your votes have been stamped at the back. If not, alert the IEC officials at the voting station. And make sure you use a pen when voting.

5. What happens if I make a mistake on the ballot?

You should ask the presiding officer for a new ballot paper if you made a mistake, but it should be BEFORE putting your paper in the ballot box, and make sure that the paper is marked as “cancelled”.

6. Can I vote if I turn 18 soon after election day?

You must have turned 18 on or before the day on which the elections are proclaimed by the president to be able to vote. The IEC makes no exceptions in this case.

7. Are you allowed to take selfies in the voting booth?

The IEC strictly prohibits taking pictures in the voting booth and it is an offence to take a photograph of a marked ballot.

8. Can I vote if I will be in another town or province on election day?

If you're outside of your voting district, you may vote at another voting station in South Africa. If you're outside the province where you registered, you'll only be able to vote in the national election and not the provincial election, and you'll be asked to complete a VEC 4 form (national elections) at the voting station.

9. Can I vote if I've lost my registration sticker?

You will be allowed to vote as long as your name is on the voters' roll. If your name isn't on the voters' roll and you don't have your registration sticker, you have no proof that you've registered, and you won't be able to vote.

10. Can I vote on behalf of someone who is unable to get to their voting station?

The IEC doesn’t allow this. Every voter must vote in person at the voting station.

11. Can I vote with my temporary registration certificate?

No, you can only vote with your South African, green, bar-coded ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate. You can apply for a green, bar-coded ID or a valid TIC from the Department of Home Affairs.

12. Can permanent South African residents vote in the elections?

No, only South African citizens with a green, bar-coded ID book can vote in elections.

13. Where do I vote if I registered at a temporary registration station?

Voting stations may change from time to time, depending on the availability of each voting venue. To find out where your voting station is, you check your voter registration status online. You can then use our online voting station finder to find a map to your voting station.

14. When do voting station close and open?

Polling stations will opened at 7:00 and will close at 21:00 when the count begins.

15. Can inmates vote in the elections?

Registered Inmates can vote in the elections as long as they have a valid, green, bar-coded ID. Inmates are encouraged to check their voter registration status online to confirm whether their names appear on the voters' roll.

_To confirm that your name is on the voters' roll and to find out which voting station you're registered at, you can check your voter registration status online or SMS your ID number to 32810. _

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