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South Africans to Navigate Three Ballots in Upcoming Elections

by Central News Reporter
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IEC Launches 2024 National and Provincial Elections Programme


South Africans will be handed three ballot papers when they head to the polls to cast their votes for the seventh democratic elections on 29 May 2024.

For the first time in the nation’s history, voters will receive three ballot papers instead of the traditional two, a decision made following the recent amendment to the Electoral Act in April 2023.

The IEC has made a concerted appeal to the electorate, emphasizing the importance of correctly marking the ballots to avoid any vote being rendered invalid. “Our appeal to voters is to remember that they can only put one mark on each ballot, more than one mark will result in a spoiled vote and not counted,” said IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo, stressing the critical nature of this guidance.

Adding to the inclusivity of this electoral process, the IEC has announced the production of the Universal Ballot Template (UBT), designed to aid voters with disabilities. “The UBT, whose dimensions are benchmarked against the longest ballot paper, is in production and will be available in all voting stations,” Mamabolo explained. This move is set to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their physical limitations, can participate in the democratic process with ease and independence.

The introduction of a third ballot stems from the revision of the electoral system to allow independent candidates to vie for positions in the National Assembly and the Provincial Legislatures, marking a significant shift toward a more inclusive and representative electoral procedure. With the country’s registered voter count standing at 27.79 million, this election is poised to be a landmark event in South African democracy.

Voters in the upcoming elections will encounter three distinct ballot papers:

  1. The National Ballot for selecting political parties for the National Assembly’s 200 seats.
  2. The Regional or Province-to-National Ballots to elect either a political party or an independent candidate representing each province in the National Assembly.
  3. The Provincial Ballots for choosing representatives in the respective provincial legislatures.

The IEC has detailed that ballot papers will feature full party names, photographs of party leaders, or, in the case of independents, their names and photographs, alongside a clear identifier marked “INDEPENDENT.”



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