Political leaders could rest easy on election day knowing their party would receive at least one vote - their own.

But Claire Emary, leader of the Keep it Straight and Simple (KISS) party, had to accept the possibility that the zero next to her party's name on the IEC's results board might never budge. (In fact, it got quite a few votes.)

Emary is KISS' sole candidate and she was barred from voting because she had neglected to register.

The IEC alerted her to the oversight a month ago, by which time it was too late to affix the necessary yellow sticker to her ID book.

Emary had assumed that coming up with the R150 000 deposit necessary to front her own party in the national elections would be enough to relieve her of the need to register. Also, she admits, "I was too lazy to stand in line".

Speaking on behalf of the IEC, voting manager Rushdie Nackerdien said failing to register did not disqualify Emary from the race.

Nackerdien explained that according to the constitution, there are no provisions stating that a candidate must be registered to vote in order to run.

But the IEC's own chief electoral officer, Pansy Tlakula, disputes this interpretation of the law. Tlakula threatened to take the commission to court last month over the nomination of three candidates - two from the Freedom Front Plus and one from the Independent Democrats - who were not registered.

Tlakula eventually agreed to wait until after the elections to review the issue of whether an amendment to the electoral act was necessary.

Emary is unfazed by the glitch. "I've always sailed close to the wind, so what the heck."