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Month of Ramadan enables Muslim voters to apply for special voting

Applications for special voting closes on April 18

The IEC has made provision for Muslim voters who will have the option to cast special votes on either May 6 or 7, this after taking into consideration the month of Ramadan (month of fasting) observed yearly.


Special voting applications open today

During this time, those of the Islamic faith abstain from eating food and water from dawn until dusk.

Representatives of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) engaged in discussions with the IEC regarding Ramadan as it coincides with the date of the national and provincial elections (May 8).

Special voting is allowed for voters who are disabled, pregnant, physically infirm, and those who are unable to travel to their voting station will include Muslim voters.

The points below were established and agreed upon by the IEC and MJC:

For electoral staff and party agents

• The IEC and MJC said Muslim electoral staff is encouraged to fulfil their religious obligations during the course of duty.

• Both organisations said they will assist in facilitating opportunity for the observance of prayer where possible. (This will also include observance and facilitation of space in the breaking of the fast at sunset, where possible).

For voters

• Should members of the Muslim community find it necessary, they may apply for special voting status which will allow them to cast a vote on May 6 or 7 from 9am to 5pm.

• Applications for special votes, which opened on April 4, can be done online at www.elections.org.za, via SMS or at a local IEC office.

The following was a statement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding the special voting for Muslims:

“This year our national and provincial elections coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan during which time our Muslim brothers and sisters observe the fast and stay away from food and water from dawn until dusk,” said the president.

“I am pleased that the Independent Electoral Commission has heeded the call to allow our Muslim compatriots a special vote on May 6 and 7.”

Those who choose not to apply for special voting will still be eligible to cast their vote on May 8, provided they are registered voters.

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