Voting and the elections
Why has the DA's campaign turned negative and shifted focus to Zuma?
Helen Zille responds:
It is imperative that we keep the ANC below a two-thirds majority nationally, so that it cannot change the Constitution to continue the power abuse designed to enrich its leaders and shield them from the consequences.
This is the message that the DA is driving in the final week of this campaign. Every South African must know the dangers of a Zuma two-thirds majority. Every South African must know how important it is to prevent this. If they fail to do so, the voters only have themselves to blame.
I am registered in a different province – can I vote?
In a National and Provincial Election you are not restricted to vote only at the voting station where you are registered - you qualify for what is referred to as a Section 24(A) vote. So if you were registered before, you will still be able to vote. However, if you are in a different province, you will only be able to vote on the national ballot and not the provincial ballot.
At the voting station on Election Day, you will be asked to complete a VEC4 form to show that you are voting at a different station.
Please note: You must have a proof of registration (sticker) in your ID, as your name will not appear on the segment of the voters' roll for that voting district. Once the staff are satisfied that you are registered, you will be requested to complete the form.
Please ensure that you change your registration before the 2011 Election (there will be Registration weekends closer to that time) as you will then be voting for your Ward Councillor.
To check where your new voting station is, please visit the IEC website and click on 'Find your voting station'.
What is the procedure for voting overseas?
In order to vote overseas, you will need to fill out a VEC 10 form and submit it to the IEC at email@example.com.
To download the forn and for tips on how to fill it in, please visit contributetochangeglobal.wordpress.com
PLEASE NOTE: You must submit the form by 27th March 2009
How do I apply for a special vote?
The Democratic Alliance has set up a blog dedicated to South Africans living abroad, and their right to vote in the Election. Click here to read a post entitled “How to apply for a special vote”.
How do I check if I am registered and where I need to vote?
If you’re in South Africa, you can SMS your ID Number to 32810, and you’ll get a reply from the IEC telling you if and where you are registered.
Alternatively, you can visit the IEC’s website – www.elections.org.za – click on the ‘Am I registered?’ link, and submit your ID number; or you can call their toll-free line, 0800118000.
If you need further assistance, please call the DA’s call-centre on 0861 CALL DA (0861 2255 32) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What are my rights as a voter on Election Day
ELECTION DAY: RULES AT POLLING STATIONS
1. Most importantly, YOUR VOTE IS SECRET – no matter what anyone tells you, your vote cannot be traced back to you
2. THE RULES FOR PARTY AGENTS PRESENT AT POLLING STATIONS
Party agents are members of political parties who are placed in polling stations to observe the voting and counting process, in order to make sure that these procedures are followed according to the law. Their duty is to report any contravention of these rules (such as intimidation of voters or allowing people to vote who do not have the right to do so), and report the perpetrators to the IEC.
2.1 Rules for party monitors and election candidates
- An agent and a party candidate must wear a prescribed identification tag at a voting station or counting venue.
- Within the polling station, no political party, agent or candidate may display or distribute any billboard, poster, placards or pamphlets.
- Within the polling station, no political party, agent or candidate may wear, carry or display any clothing, headwear, footwear or other apparel bearing party logo’s colours or candidates names and faces, other than their own prescribed identification tag.
- Also, no rallies or demonstrations may be held within the polling station.
- Parties may canvass outside the perimeters of the polling station, but canvassing may not be audible to people in the polling station.
- Parties are not allowed to canvass people in the queue.
- IEC officials may not tell people who to vote for or not to vote for.
- In short: no party may advertise or canvass within a polling station.
- Within the polling station, no political party, agent or candidate may attempt to induce, influence or persuade a person to vote for or not to vote for a particular party or candidate.
- Within the polling station, no political party, agent or candidate may attempt to interfere with the election proceedings.
- In short: no party agent, member or candidate may attempt to intimidate other voters.
2.2 Allowable numbers of agents per station
- Two Party Agents per party contesting the elections may monitor the voting process.
During vote counting
- Two Party Agents per party contesting the elections may monitor the counting process.
2.3 In addition:
- The absence of an agent or candidate from a voting station does not invalidate the election proceedings at the station.
- There will be security officers present at every voting station, should you experience a problem.
- It is allowable for parties to form an informal agreement in order to share agents.
2.4 Assisted voting:
- The only conditions under which anyone but yourself may view your ballot paper is in the case of assisted voting, which is allowed for those who are blind or require assistance in order to cast their votes.
- In such cases, the presiding officer may mark the voter’s ballot as instructed, and MUST do so in the presence of two party agents.
If you have an objection:
- To a voter being entitled to vote;
- To a voter being refused a ballot paper; or
- To any other conduct of an officer, an agent, or any other persons present at a voting station.
You may ask a DA party candidate or agent to lodge a complaint with the presiding officer, or approach the presiding officer directly. The officer is then obliged to investigate your complaint and, if the officer cannot resolve the issue there and then, you will need to fill out an objection form and hand it to the officer or submit it to the IEC.
An appeal can be made to the IEC by way of a written notice, served on the Commission at its offices in Pretoria not later than 21:00 on the second day after the voting day, giving full particulars of the parties involved, the conduct objected to, the decision of the presiding officer and the reasons for the appeal.
NB: In cases of extreme irregularity, the DA agent must attempt to intervene to stop whatever practice is happening immediately (such as failure to cross voters off the roll after voting, or allowing unregistered people to vote). If the agent cannot stop these practices by the presiding officer, he or she will contact the DA election management team, who will immediately intervene with the IEC on a higher level.
For further information, you can download the IEC election guide.
i would like a DA T-shirt to show my support - where can I get one?
We have T-shirts and Golf Shirts for sale at our Provincial Office in the City. Details below, the contact person is Collette Louw or Glenda Benjamin.
6th Floor Ruskin House
2 Roeland Street
021 468 6600
How do I vote if I suffer from a physical infirmity, am disabled or pregnant
South Africans who suffer from a physical infirmity, are disabled or pregnant, can apply for a special vote. The IEC can arrange for someone to come to your house to take the vote.
The following process needs to be followed in order for the IEC to send voting officials to you so that you can cast your vote:
Firstly, your husband needs to be a registered voter.
Secondly, if registered, your husband would need to complete a VEC 1
If infirmed in the same voting district they are registered in you must send the VEC1 form to either the IEC municipal electoral office by 14 April.
If your husband is infirmed in a different municipality where your voting district is then you must deliver or send their VEC1 form to the IEC municipal electoral office of that municipality that they want to vote in who will then send your application to the presiding officer of the voting district in which the place that you will be visited is situated.
The presiding officer will then verify if he is registered as a voter and must be satisfied that your wife cannot vote due to physical infirmity, disability or pregnancy.
On the special voting day:
- If your application is approved then the IEC will send two voting officials to the address you have provided on the VEC1 form on the date stated in the IEC's Election Timetable
- Your husband must then produce her ID book to the officials
- He will then be given a ballot paper to vote - if the place where she is infirmed is outside the province in which they are registered in then they will only receive a National Ballot paper and not a provincial one
- The ballot paper will be placed in two envelopes with your wife's name, ID number and voting district number written on the outer envelope
- The ballot paper will then be placed in a secure ballot box for special votes and their name will be marked of the voters roll.
I have received a call from the DA - what is the purpose and where did you get my number?
We apologise if we put you in an uncomfortable position.
The DA, and other parties, do in fact get most of their information from the voters roll. The point of the phone calls is to tele-canvass. Once we see who has registered, each night we then target a certain area, and try to ascertain if the members are supportive of the party.
Then, come Election Day, the DA will encourage those that are pro-DA to go and vote.
It's a standard electoral process; however, we do understand your concern. If you do not want to share your political preference, it is your right to decline. We would never force that upon anyone.
Why should I vote for the DA and not another opposition party?
There is no doubt that South Africa's political landscape has changed. COPE's breakaway from the ANC is a welcome step in our democracy. However, when the ANC splits, the DA wins.
The DA is the real winner from the split in the ANC because while COPE's emergence undercuts the ANC's prospects and dominance of the electoral landscape, the DA remains the only party with a credible alternative vision for South Africa.
But now people are questioning that choice. Would it be better to vote COPE nationally for a stronger opposition?
The answer is no! Here are just two, of the many reasons why…
Firstly, there is no way of gauging how big COPE's support-base really is. However, we do know that the DA is consolidating support among our traditional voters, and gaining support from new voters in all communities. We are even winning votes off the ANC. Research has shown it, and by-elections have proven it. We have won more by-elections against the ANC in the past 3 months than any other party - including COPE. So if this is any indication of what is to come - then a vote for the DA nationally and provincially would mean stronger DA governments at provincial level and a stronger official opposition at national level. Therefore, by voting for COPE at national level, it will only further decrease the size of the main opposition at national level - not strengthen it.
Growth at national level is important to the DA, as we aim to be part of the national government in 2014.
Secondly, there is a very clear choice facing South Africans in this election: we can choose to become an open, opportunity society for all, or we can choose to become a closed, crony society for some. COPE and the ANC represent the "closed, crony society"
Let us not forget that COPE is led by the very people who helped Thabo Mbeki hone and polish the closed, crony system and blur the lines between party and state - the same people that stood behind Mbeki's denialism on HIV/AIDS, quiet diplomacy in Zimbabwe, and refusal to acknowledge that crime is out of control.
The DA offers a workable and winning alternative; a strong track record in government; a government that delivers on its promises.
The choice is there…but the choice is clear.
Why should I volunteer for the DA?
We DA is on track to win the Western Cape in 2009, and there is a good chance that we will form coalition governments in other provinces, too.
We are no longer just the opposition. We are party that can lead in the future. We are in government in Cape Town and in many other municipalities.
The DA will govern in towns and cities across the country after the 2011 local government elections; and we will be part of the national government in 2014.
We're in it to win it because we want democracy to win. We want South Africa to succeed.
That is what the DA offers - a workable and winning alternative; a strong track record in government; a government that delivers on its promises.
Does the DA have candidates for the National Assembly?
No, in terms of clause 2.2.3 of the Federal Constitution, the Democratic Alliance does not submit a national list. Instead, it submits nine regional lists – one from each province - for the National Assembly.
When one has a national list this very often means that votes from one province are used to elect candidates from another province, whereas in the case of a regional list system all the votes cast for the DA in any province contribute to the number of MPs elected from that province.
Thus, if the DA wins 50% of the vote in the Western Cape, it will get 50% of the seats allocated by the IEC to the Western Cape Province. This system is obviously much fairer to the provinces concerned, because the MPs are then responsible to the voters of that province only.
Helen Zille’s name does not appear on the list
It does. Helen Zille’s married name (and the name that appears on the voter’s roll) is Otta Helene Maree.
This name appears at the number one position on the Western Cape Provincial Legislature list, in line with the Party’s decision to make her the Premiership candidate in the one province that we can realistically govern.
(We have used 'Helen Zille' on the list published here on our website.)
Why doesn’t the DA have a Presidential Candidate?
Helen Zille is the Leader of the DA. She appears on hundreds of thousands of posters and millions of pamphlets.
She is used in our advertisements on the electronic media. It is quite clear that she is our leading candidate, but for very sound political reasons, we have decided that she can advance our interests best by being our Premiership candidate in the Western Cape.
However, in the event that the DA won a majority, Helen Zille would naturally be the candidate the Party would nominate as President of South Africa. In any event, the idea of some of the smaller parties putting up so called Presidential Candidates, is quite frankly preposterous.