Voters were generally highly satisfied with their voting experience in the 2019 national and provincial elections and overwhelmingly believed the election procedures to be free and fair.
This is according to the results of the election satisfaction survey conducted on election day on May 8 by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said in a statement on Thursday.
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.
The findings of the survey showed that:
- 97% of voters expressed satisfaction in the secrecy of their vote;
- 95% believed that the election procedures were free and fair;
- 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," the IEC said.
In terms of political party tolerance, 64% of voters said parties were "very tolerant" of one another and 21% said they 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 16-30 minutes (23% in 2016), 7% taking between 31-60 minutes (8% in 2016) and 3% 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.