It’s all over. Months of electioneering, rallies, manifestos, banned ads and open letters have come to an end. You’ve braved the queues to make your mark. Your civil duty is done – plus you have a line on your thumb to prove it.
So, what happens now?
Well, the votes get counted in each voting district and a document is created listing how many ballots were in each box, how many were spoilt and the total number of votes for each party. Everything then gets verified with party agents (members from each party) and outside moderators from accounting firms and banks. Everybody must agree on each point and every member needs to sign this document. They then wrap it up tight and make three copies, one for inside the box, one taped on the outside and the final one gets sent directly to the IEC HQ.
The box itself then gets sent to the IEC headquaters where they can check it yet again. The numbers gets captured on huge computer screens that look like this.
The seats in parliament are allocated to the parties according to the votes they received from the total valid votes count. This is called the closed list proportional system. (Note: spoilt ballots are not included in this total)
Now work it out
The IEC uses the following equation to arrive at how seats each party gains as per it’s votes – yeah some maths is needed. It’s easy though.
It goes something like this:
Total percentage of votes divide by 100, answer x 400 = the amount of seats your party gets.
OK, let’s break it down like this rather. In 2009 the ANC got 65,9% of the votes : 65,9 divide by 100= 0,659; now multiply that by 400 (because there are 400 seats in parliament) = 263.6gives you 264. The figure is rounded off to the nearest 10 because what’s a .6 of a seat? You can’t share a seat with anyone.
Then comes the candidate lists we’ve been hearing about lately
Each party has a candidate list they submitted to the IEC a while ago, remember? If we rewind to 2009 again, then the top 264 people on the ANC’s list would go to parliament. The IEC has at his point already run credit and criminal checks on everyone on this list because you cannot go to parliament if you’ve been convicted of a crime.
First order of business
Well, parliament then elects the new president of South Africa. This can be ANY member of parliament from ANY party. It does not have to be from the party with the most votes. It doesn’t even have to be the presidential candidate. If the ANC has the majority again then it’s likely that their presidential candidate will become number one.
We will be hearing the outcome of the election within three days so follow @LiveMagSA for live coverage.
The story of #Elections2014 continues. Stick with #LiveVIPZA and we’ll give you analysis, debates, comments, polls and all you need to make it through the all-important task of VOTING during the 2014 elections.
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