(1) The ballot of every voter shall consist of a ballot paper.
(2) Each ballot paper:
(a) contain the names and photographs of all the candidates contesting the election;
(b) be capable of being folded up;
(c) have a number printed on it; and
(d) have attached to it a counterfoil with the same number printed on it.
(3) The names of the candidates on a ballot paper shall appear in alphabetical order of their surnames and, if there are two or more candidates of the same surname, in alphabetical order of their other names.
Marking a ballot paper
To mark a ballot paper, a voter is must draw a cross/ plus sign on the photograph of the candidate that he/ she is voting for.
Poll to be taken by ballot
(1) The votes at the poll shall be given by ballot and the result shall be ascertained by counting the votes cast for each candidate.
(2) Voting at every election shall be by secret ballot using one ballot box in respect of the election of a Member of Parliament, Indvuna yeNkhundla and Bucopho for all the candidates at each polling station.
(3) The candidate who receives the most valid votes cast shall be declared elected.
The emptying and sealing of ballot boxes
- Immediately before the commencement of the poll, a presiding officer shall show those present inside the polling station that the ballot box is empty and the presiding officer shall thereafter close and secure the lid of the ballot box in such a way that the lid cannot be opened without the official seal or fastening of the candidates being broken or damaged.
- The sealed ballot box shall not be opened except as provided by the Elections Act and shall not be removed from the polling station for the duration of the poll.
- The presiding officer shall place and keep each ballot box in a position where the ballot box will be within the view of persons present at the polling station.
- Where more than one ballot box is used after the first ballot box is filled, the procedure prescribed in this section shall be followed prior to using any additional ballot box.
Issue of ordinary ballot papers
(1) If a polling officer is satisfied in respect of all the matters referred to in section 51 of the elections Act, the officer shall issue to the applicant an ordinary ballot paper in a manner specified in subsection (2).
(2) The polling officer shall —
- call out the number and name of the voter as it appears in voters register;
- enter the number in the space provided on the counterfoil of the ballot paper to be issued to the applicant;
- tear out the ballot paper and mark it with the official mark on the back in the space provided;
- fold the ballot paper in four lengthwise and crosswise, so that the face of the ballot paper is on the inside and the official mark on the outside, then unfold it and hand it to the applicant; and
- draw a line in red ink through the number and name or photograph of the voter in the voters register as evidence that a ballot paper has been issued.
(3) If, for any reason, the presiding officer or a polling officer has any doubt as to a ballot paper held by a voter being the ballot paper issued to the voter, the presiding officer may for the purpose of comparing with the number printed on the counterfoil require a voter, before dropping the ballot paper in the ballot box, to show the presiding officer the number and official mark on the back of the ballot paper.
Objections against issue of ballot paper
(1) A presiding officer or polling officer may refuse to issue a ballot paper to any applicant for a ballot paper if a candidate or a candidate’s agent or any registered voter in the polling station makes an objection to issuing a ballot paper to the applicant on grounds that a person registered on the voters register is dead or is so incapacitated by sickness, absence, or otherwise, that it is impossible for that person to be present at the polling station to vote at the election in question.
(2) The objection in subsection (1) shall be by declaration on oath in the approved Form No. 30 before the presiding officer.
(3) The presiding officer shall refuse to issue a ballot paper to the applicant referred to in subsection (1), unless the applicant proves his or her identity to the satisfaction of the presiding officer or makes a declaration on oath before the presiding officer that the applicant is the person whose name appears on the voters register for the Inkhundla and that the statements made in the first-mentioned declaration (which shall be read over to him) are false.
(4) The presiding officer is authorized and required to administer any oath described in this section.
(5) A person who makes a false statement in any declaration mentioned in this section, knowing the statement to be false, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to the penalties prescribed by law for perjury.
(6) More than one person may be referred to in any declaration on oath made under sub-section (2), but the reason why each of the persons referred to is unable to attend at polling station shall be clearly connected with the person to whom the declaration relates.
(7) A person aggrieved with the decision of the presiding officer under this section may immediately appeal against the decision to the returning officer of the Inkhundla whose decision shall be final.
Marking and disposal of ballot paper
(1) A person to whom a ballot paper has been issued shall immediately take it to an unoccupied polling booth and there without delay secretly signify with the instrument provided the candidate for whom the person wishes to vote by making a mark on the ballot paper in the space provided for the name and photograph of the candidate.
(2) After marking the ballot paper, the voter shall fold it in four lengthwise and crosswise so that the face of the ballot paper is on the inside and the official mark on the outside and−
- put it in the ballot box provided; and
- thereafter without delay leave the polling station.
(3) A voter shall not remove a ballot paper from the polling station.
(4) If through inadvertence the official mark has not been placed on a ballot paper about to be put into the ballot box handed to the presiding officer, the presiding officer may cause the mark to be placed on the ballot paper.
(5) The number of the voter as shown in the voters register shall be endorsed by the presiding officer on the back of the tendered ballot paper and entered on the tendered votes register in the approved Form No. 8 duly completed.
Spoilt ballot paper
(1) A voter who has inadvertently spoilt a ballot paper may return it to the presiding officer who shall, if satisfied of the inadvertence, issue the voter with a fresh ballot paper and the presiding officer shall−
- retain and immediately cancel the spoilt ballot paper and note the fact of the cancellation on the counterfoil;
- note on the counterfoil of the spoilt ballot paper the number of the fresh ballot paper issued thus “see also counterfoil No. ………”; and
- note on the counterfoil of the fresh ballot paper issued the number of the spoilt paper thus “see also counterfoil No. ……..”.
(2) The presiding officer shall set aside the spoilt ballot papers in a separate envelope marked No. 11 duly completed.
Closing of poll, sealing of ballot boxes and marking up of election material
(1) A ballot paper shall not be delivered to a person after the hour fixed for closing the poll but if at that hour there is in the polling station a voter who has queued to vote, that voter shall be allowed to vote.
(2) After the voters inside the polling station entitled to vote have voted, the presiding officer shall close the poll and shall immediately close the aperture of the lid of every ballot box and seal it with the official seal and other seals of such candidates or their agents who may wish to affix their seals.
(3) The presiding officer shall sign the tendered votes register in the approved Form No. 8 and the register of voters whose ballot papers have been marked by the presiding officer in the approved Form No.10, and complete and sign the “ballot paper account”, in duplicate, in the approved Form No.12.
(4) The presiding officer shall, in the presence of the persons lawfully present inside the polling station, enclose the following envelopes, and seal each envelope with sealing wax impressed with the official seal and the seals of any candidate.
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