Expert tips for surviving Election Day queues



Published May 27, 2024


Election Day is almost here, and for many, the thought of big crowds and long lines can be a bit overwhelming. But don’t stress!

As South Africa prepares for one of its biggest events on 29 May, the excitement is tangible. Millions are ready to cast their votes but they are also bracing themselves for those endless queues.

Jonathan Spencer, brand & campaign manager at, shares: “We’re all too familiar with the long waits at polling stations on voting day.”

To make your voting experience smoother, Spencer has put together a practical list of tips to help you navigate the long lines and enjoy the day.

Stay hydrated and warm

Even though it’s winter, South Africa’s weather is famously unpredictable – you might get all four seasons in one day.

With the possibility of the sun making a surprise appearance and those long queues at voting stations, staying hydrated is key.

Don’t let dehydration get you down. Keep a water bottle handy to stay refreshed and focused.

For those early birds braving the chill, think ahead: Bring a hot water bottle to fend off the cold or a travel mug with your favourite tea or coffee to keep you warm.

Pack some snacks

Standing in long lines can make anyone hungry. Keep your energy levels up by bringing some tasty snacks.

Whether it’s trail mix, energy bars or a fresh bunch of grapes (not the wine kind – clear-headed voters make better choices!), having something to munch on will help you stay focused and satisfied while you wait.

Keep your energy up by bringing some tasty snacks. Picture: Bora C /Pexels

Stay entertained while you wait

Waiting in line doesn’t have to be dull. Turn your time in the queue into a mini-entertainment session by tuning into a gripping true-crime podcast.

If audiobooks are more your style, load up your favourite stories and enjoy them while you patiently wait to cast your vote. This way, the queue will feel shorter and much more enjoyable.

Stay powered up on election day

Don’t let a dead battery keep you from capturing your Election Day experience. Bring a portable power bank to keep your phone charged and ready for those memorable moments.

After all, you'll want to take a cute selfie to document your participation. And for the perfect group shot, don't forget your tripod and or camera.

Tune out the noise on election day

If you’re worn out from hearing endless political opinions, bring a pair of earbuds and a calming playlist to zone out and relax while you wait. This can create a peaceful environment and help you focus on voting without distractions.

Bring a pair of earbuds and a calming playlist to zone out and relax while you wait. Picture: Pavel Danilyuk/pexels

With these handy tips, you’ll be ready to manage the queues and make your voice heard on Election Day. And remember, bring your valid South African ID – it’s needed for voting!

Side note: “Avoid wearing bright colours like yellow, green, red, black, white and blue – if you know, you know.

“While voting stands as one of the year’s most fundamental activities, the long lines can be off-putting. But that needn’t be the case this Election Day. Let these tips assist you in preparing for the inevitable wait at polling stations.”