First-time voter guide for South African elections

First-time voter guide for South African elections

Will you be casting your vote for the first time this year? Here is what you need to know...

South African person casting a vote
South African person casting a vote/ iStock

Millions of South Africans are expected to participate in the 2024 National and Provincial Elections. 

The elections will take place on 29 May 2024. 

Voting stations are open from 07:00 to 21:00.

Voting allows you to have your say in a democratic South Africa. 

Your vote can place the right party in power, bringing about better service delivery and change in the country. 

According to the Constitution, all 18-year-old South African citizens are eligible to vote. 

If you will be voting for the first time, this is what you need to know: 

- First, you need to make sure you are registered and at which voting station you are supposed to vote. To check which station you are registered at, click here and enter your Identification Number (ID). If you are not registered, you cannot vote.

- On the day of the elections, take your ID along. You will need to present it at the entrance of the voting station and it will be scanned. You would then be presented with a slip that confirms that you are a registered voter and in which queue you need to wait. You will also be told where to go when you enter the voting station. 

- Inside the voting station, you will be taken to a table where there will be a list of names of the national common voters' roll for the district. A cross will be made against your name and you will get a spot of ink on your left thumbnail. 

- You will then be handed three ballot papers by an election official.

- Find an empty booth and then cast your vote by putting a cross against your preferred candidate. Only make one cross on each ballot paper. Do not make corrections on the ballot paper. If you make a mistake, call an election official and they will provide you with a new ballot paper. 

- When you are finished casting your vote, fold your ballot papers, place them in the marked boxes, and leave the voting station.

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