After the nomination process, the Commission produces ballot papers for the nominated candidates per elective office per chiefdom. The ballot paper is peculiar to that specific chiefdom. Date and time (0700hrs- 1700hrs) of the election is stipulated in the Writ signed by His Majesty the King. At the primary level, chiefdoms are given an opportunity to elect candidates in all the three elective offices. The elective offices contested for at this level are those of Bucopho, Indvuna ye Nkhundla and the Member of Parliament. The election of Bucopho is finalized at this stage. At primary level there is no canvassing for votes as candidates are nominated (that is, invited to serve) on the basis of their being known to that community.
The secondary election process covers ballot paper production, the poll, and the declaration of results. All the candidates who qualify in the primary elections in the position of Indvuna ye Inkhundla and Member of Parliament must have their names and photographs in the secondary elections ballot paper. Unlike the primary elections, the ballot paper at this stage is common to all the chiefdoms in that specific constituency for each of the elective offices. The Election procedure is the same as that of the Primary election. However, during the Secondary Election the time of poll is from 07:00hrs to 18:00 hrs.
By election is a special election that is held between regular elections to replace someone who has died, resigned or left the office for various reasons. During by elections, procedures and processes are the same as those of general election. No new registration takes place during this election.
Election agent is an individual who observes the conduct of elections on behalf of a Candidate. He/ She is appointed seven (7) days before an election by the candidate in respect of each polling station.
Election agents play a critical role in the process of protecting democracy and the integrity of the electoral process. Agents have rights and roles as outlined below;
Rights of an agent
- Access to the polling station.
- Obtain official information about the election.
- Speak to anyone other than a voter inside the polling station.
- Dispute the inclusion of a ballot paper in the count that they believe should be rejected.
- Object to the rejection of a ballot paper that they believe is valid.
- Request a recount or recheck once.
- Raise concerns with the Presiding Officer.
- Document concerns.
Roles of Agents in an election
- Be conversant with the electoral law.
- Observe the opening of the poll.
- Confirm the emptiness of the ballot boxes.
- List the serial numbers of the ultra-seal.
- May fix their seals.
- List the serial numbers of ballot papers.
- Observe if voting procedure conforms to the law.
- Observe the closing procedure.
- Observe if counting procedures are adhered to.
- Sign the declaration of results form.
THE VOTING PROCEDURE
During the voting process you are expected to adhere to the following;
- You must be registered to vote in that polling station.
- Produce a voter card and be checked in the voter’s roll. In the absence of a voter card, an identity card must be produced and the voter be issued with a temporary voter permit.
- In the case a voter does not appear on the register, he may be checked from central database for verification.
- After voter has been confirmed he then proceeds to the voter’s roll inside where he is marked.
- A ballot paper is issued to the voter.
- On issuance of ballot paper, a declared official mark is stamped at the back.
- Then the voter goes privately to the ballot booth to make a mark on the ballot paper. The ballot booth ensures the secrecy of the voter.
- A voter who is blind or unable to write is assisted by a presiding officer or relative.
- After marking the ballot paper, the voter proceeds to cast the vote into the ballot box
Counting is done at each polling station immediately after close of poll in the presence of candidates, their agents, election observers and other interested stakeholders.
Announcement of Results
The announcement of results is done at each polling station immediately after the conclusion of the counting at the designated counting centre by the Presiding Officer.
It is an arrangement created for registered voters who can’t vote at their voting station on the Polling day. These people include the electoral staff and security personnel among others. It also accommodates people who cannot travel to their voting stations such as people who provide essential services (e.g. doctors, paramedics, fire fighters, and nurses who are on duty on the polling day and people who are admitted in hospitals.