Extend voting period

Keith Blake, Ottery

In South Africa we have forgotten or are almost unwilling to give credit and apply the reasonable man criteria, which, when applied, will in plain common sense work, and favour all concerned.

We were informed by the Electoral Commission of South Africa that we have about 28 million registered voters who are legible and lawfully allowed to vote.

That is a lot of voters and if these registered voters vote, we can truly state or announce to South Africa and to the whole wide world the people of South Africa have spoken.

Tragically, only about 8 million voters – a trickle of those registered, cast their hard fought for votes. And despite the low numbers, it is declared the people had spoken on who and what political leaders and parties they want to lead us.

Among the reasons political analysts and politicians have given for the low voter turnout is that people are disillusioned, angry and of course the weather. It rained in the Western Cape on the day of the municipal elections on Monday November 1.

Let us now apply the reasonable man criteria concept: how can about 28 million voters vote or cast their vote in one day? One day voting is the ultimate killer of democracy in our voting process or procedure. It is an impossible time frame, considering, weather, and personal circumstances of the voters.

We in South Africa have failed to make space and consider the circumstances of those who were registered to vote by lawfully forcing registered voters to cast their vote on one day.

We must not look at other countries’ one-day trend of voting. We must look at our domestic situation and our diversity and our political players.

To really make the people want to vote, give them space, choices and peace of mind. Extend the voting period to three days, maybe Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This three-day voting process will give voters enough time and planning to cast their votes according to their circumstances and make them feel unpressurised and have a three-day choice which is politically polite and makes political sense.