Voting in South Africa


So yesterday we had the day off so that we could vote in our general elections. I was wondering whether it would go swiftly (like the previous elections) or not (like the 1994 elections, where I waited in line for over 4 hours to vote). Thankfully the voting proceeded very quickly, and surprisingly, around the country, without any serious incidents.

The wife and I took a brisk walk from our house to the local voting station a few blocks from our house. We joined the back of the line – just outside the door and we were then promptly escourted to the correct queue based on our surnames and that we were in our own voting district (apparently the IEC had changed the rules recently to allow anyone to vote at any voting station, however if you were outside your registered province you could only vote for a national party not a provincial one).  

We presented our Identity Document, had our names checked on the register, got our fingernails marked with indelible ink (actually when I first read what was written on the little bottle I thought it said inedible ink!) to prove we voted and couldn’t vote at another station again. We were then given our voting ballots at the next table (one for provincial and one for national) and then waited for an empty voting booth to go and cast our votes. I noticed that they ensure the different party names are in random order each year and not alphabetical to ensure certain parties (who shall remain a nameless candidate) tell their voters to mark the first one on the list. We made our marks, dropped them in the highly secure (?) cardboard boxes and off we went – less than 15 minutes after joining the queue.

Uneventful, quick and hopefully our little marks will help make a difference. We’ll see in probably a few days time once all the voting districts ballots have been counted and audited (?) what the results are. 

The rest of the day was just as uneventful, except for a minor bit of surfing the web and some more training in Counter Strike, for the next weekly battle after work on Friday. Ready team, breach, bang and clear – move, move move!

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6 Responses to “Voting in South Africa”

  1. Good on you mate. Wish mine had been as quick, so that I could get back to important issues like CS-training too…. *sigh*
    The sacrifices I make for democracy in our land… I’m a damned martyr I am.

  2. […] Deems’s Weblog A Software Developer’s Ramblings « Voting in South Africa […]

  3. Very COOL!

    This sound exactly like the voting procedure for each precinct in the US (except for this last general election). In my county, lines wrapped around buildings like never before. And, many precincts had problems like never before as a result. 🙂

    I hope the results are as you voted.

    • @Koukla – well it’s not surprising the the current ruling part has gotten the majority of the votes but more importantly they’re still (but only by a hair!) below the 2/3 mark! Importantly for us in the Western Cape is that the DA has (currently just under) 50% of the votes. We’ll probably only know the final results later tomorrow. As of now 16.7 million votes have been counted. Not sure exactly of the total number of votes but it should be close to the 20 million mark.

  4. They are all a bunch of corrupt bastards! I hope the least corrupt one wins and does some good!

    • @BG – We should know the final results by 5pm today. It looks very likely that the ANC will *not* get their 2/3 majority (a very good thing) and the DA has clinched the Western Cape which I’m (along with many others) very happy about! Now it’s a questions of how things move forward from here.

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