Voters satisfied with voting process, recent polls – IEC

SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Town - 8 May 2019 - Ballot boxes at Kalkfontein Primary School voting station in Kuilsriver as South Africans head to the polls today to vote in the country's sixth national elections.  Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Town - 8 May 2019 - Ballot boxes at Kalkfontein Primary School voting station in Kuilsriver as South Africans head to the polls today to vote in the country's sixth national elections. Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

Voters ‘were generally highly satisfied with their voting experience and overwhelmingly believed the election procedures to be free and fair’.

Judging by the results of the Election Satisfaction Survey conducted on Election Day, 8 May 2019, by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said voters were generally highly satisfied with their voting experience and overwhelmingly believed the election procedures to be free and fair.

“The survey was conducted at a sample of 300 voting stations countrywide selected to be nationally representative. At each voting station, 50 voters were interviewed across four different time slots to ensure a fair reflection of the different conditions during the day,” said the IEC in a statement on Thursday.

Among its findings, the survey showed that 97% of voters expressed satisfaction in the secrecy of their vote. Another 95% believed that the election procedures were free and fair.

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The survey also found that:

  • 96% expressed general satisfaction with the quality of services; rendered by election officials;
  • 96% expressed satisfaction with safety and security at voting stations;
  • 95% were satisfied with the ballot papers and found it easy to find their party of choice; and
  • 84% were confident or completely confident that their vote would be accurately counted.

“In terms of overall confidence in the Electoral Commission, 92% of voters indicated that they trust or strongly trust the Electoral Commission in general. The results are generally in line with the findings in both the 2014 and 2016 elections. Encouragingly, the number of voters who said they were very satisfied with the secrecy of the vote grew from 62% in 2016 to 68.5% in 2019.”

In terms of political party tolerance, the HSRC found that 64% of voters said parties were “very tolerant” of one another, while another 21% felt parties were “somewhat tolerant”. This is a slight increase over 2016 (61% very tolerant and 21% somewhat tolerant).

In terms of accessibility, the survey found that 68% of voters took less than 15 minutes to reach their voting stations (64% in 2016), with 22% taking between 16 and 30 minutes (23% in 2016), 7% taking between 31 and 60 minutes (8% in 2016) and 3% taking more than an hour (same in 2016). On average, voters waited 16 minutes to vote (17 minutes in 2016 and 16 minutes in 2014).

In its report, the HSRC said that based on the 13,750 interviews conducted on Election Day, it found that the public was overwhelmingly confident that the elections were free and fair.

“These voters’ evaluations point firmly to the continued integrity of elections in the country,” the HSRC said.

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