Record Turnout Predicted as South Africa Votes

Zuma heads for victory, but ANC may lose support
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2009 6:22 AM CDT
A woman casts her ballot after voting in Soweto, South Africa, Wednesday, April 22, 2009.   (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
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(Newser) – The polls have opened in South Africa's general election, with a record 23 million citizens expected to vote today. Jacob Zuma is all but guaranteed to become the country's next president, though strengthened opposition parties and voter frustration at corruption and crime have created the toughest challenge for his African National Congress since 1994, reports the Mail & Guardian.

Rain and cold weather threatened to reduce the predicted turnout, and outgoing president Kgalema Motlanthe told reporters that "our prayers are that the weather clears up." Earlier, police arrested an electoral official who was found with a box filled with already completed ballots, delaying the opening of one of the polling stations. Results from the election are expect to trickle in late tonight.