AMBER PAYNTER

It’s no secret that students love a class-free day or mid-week public holiday, and some have no shame in taking extended long weekends. Here’s your heads-up if you weren’t aware that 8 May is yet another public holiday for South Africa since it’s General Election day. Taking part in the General Elec- tions is our democratic right, but it is also our civic duty to stay in- formed and cast our vote.

What you can expect

For some of us, this will be ourfirst voting experience and it canbe daunting if you aren’t familiar with the process. Before Election day, it’s important to double-check that you are registered and to confirm where your voting station is. The voting process is relatively painless: once the barcode on your ID has been scanned and your name has been found on the vot- er’s roll, you will receive two ballot papers on which you will vote.

One ballot is for the national election and the other is for the provincial election. Although voting districts are logistically designed to reduce backlogs, there may be some queueing on the day of voting. But as students, we are skilled at waiting – whether it be the lines at My- Brew during winter or the queues at En Route on a Friday evening.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the official voting times? You can vote between 08:00 and 21:00.

Can I vote if I’ve lost my proofof registration sticker? Yes, you’ll still be allowed to vote without it, as long as your name is on the voter’s roll.

Can I still vote in Stellenbosch even if I registered in another town or province? It is preferable that you vote at the voting station where you registered, but you may be eligible to vote here in Stellenbosch even if it’s outside your voting district.

However, if you’re outside the province where you registered, you’ll only be able to vote in the national election and not the provincial election.

If you’re unsure about your vot- er registration status, SMS your ID number to 32810.

Check list: what to bring with

Either your green, bar-coded ID book, your Smartcard ID or a Tem-porary Identity Certificate (TIC). Only these forms of identification are valid, and absolutely no copies will be accepted.

Registration Sticker

Bring your registration sticker just in case there is a need to prove that you are registered. For ID book holders, this is pasted inside the book, but for Smartcard ID holders, the sticker is on a separate form.

Snacks are an essential

Pack in your left-over Easter choc-olates and brew a strong flask of coffee to get you through the day.

Election playlist

Compile an Election Playlist with your favourite songs – some up- beat tunes will keep the boredom at bay.

Reading material

Reading will also help you endure the wait. Head to the Stellenbosch Hospice shop for the cheapest sec- ond-hand books on campus.

Two words: sun protection

Yes, it’s nearly winter, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a nas- ty T-shirt tan standing outside.