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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