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First-time voter? Here’s what to expect

A handy fact sheet from the Electoral Commission (IEC), so what happens at the voting stations on 3 August (from 07:00 to 19:00) comes as no surprise to first-time voters.

Checked and prepped for voting

You should bring along a valid green barcoded ID book, a smartcard ID or a valid temporary identity certificate. Voters who received a separate receipt of registration when they registered (those with smartcard IDs) should also bring this receipt.

Officials will scan the barcode in your ID to see if you are registered and to find your sequential number on the voters’ roll. They will check your name and ID against the voters’ roll for that voting district. They will cross your name and ID off the voters’ roll, mark your left thumb with indelible ink and give you three ballot papers. An official will stamp your ballots on the reverse side to validate them.

Ballot papers

The PR ballot paper contains all political parties registered to contest seats in the council. In the Breede Valley 12 parties are registered: the ACDP, ANC, BO, Civic Independent, COPE, DA, EFF, ICOSA, Patriotic Alliance, People’s Democratic Movement, UDM and VF+.

The ward ballot paper contains the names and party affiliation of all candidates contesting that ward seat. Five parties will contest all wards in the Breede Valley, while the remaining seven will have candidates in selected wards.

The district council PR ballot paper contains all political parties registered to contest the elections within the Cape Winelands area.

After you mark your ballot papers in the privacy of the voting booth, fold them, place them in ballot boxes and move out.

Mistake on your ballot paper?

You may request a new ballot paper if you have made a mistake or change your mind after making your mark on the ballot paper – but before you place it in the ballot box.

Call for the assistance of an election official, who will provide a new unmarked ballot paper and will ensure the incorrect ballot is not placed in the ballot box. Officials will cancel the incorrect marked ballots and keep them separately for the reconciliation process. You may not request a new ballot more than two times.

Good to know

Remember that you can only vote in the specific voting district where you are registered. To check your voting station, SMS your ID number to 32810, dial *120*432# and follow the prompts, go to, call 0800 11 8000 weekdays between 07:00 and 21:00 or use the IEC mobile app.

If your name is not on the voters’ roll for the voting district where you registered? If you have a barcode sticker in your ID, supplied by the IEC and proving that you registered, you will be able to to vote. You’ll have to fill in an MEC 7 form first.

Although no officials or party agents may wear party-related clothing or regalia inside a voting station, party agents may wear it outside of the voting station boundaries. There is no law preventing ordinary voters from wearing party political clothing or other items on Election Day.

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