Monday, 4 October 2021, is the last day for South Africans to register for special votes ahead of the much-anticipated 1 November local government elections.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has set a 5pm deadline on Monday for applications for special votes, due to take place from 30 to 31 October.
A special vote allows a registered voter who cannot travel to their voting station on 1 November to vote earlier because they are either physically infirm, disabled or pregnant, or cannot vote at their voting station on election day due to other reasons.
In order to qualify for a special vote, voters must be registered and have a valid South African identity document (green, barcoded ID book; smartcard ID, or a valid temporary identity certificate).
How to apply for a special vote?
Voters can register for special votes online using the IEC’s secured online application form or by SMSing their identity numbers to 32249 (R1.00 per SMS).
You can apply for a special vote by visiting your local IEC office (not the national or provincial offices) and submitting an MEC 35 form. Forms can only be hand delivered (no emails or faxes accepted) and someone else can deliver your completed form on your behalf.
Special votes for IEC officals to visit your home can be applied for using the IEC’s secured online application form.
You will receive an SMS notifying you of the outcome once your application has been processed but you can also check the status of your special vote application online.
According to the IEC, if your application for a special vote is successful, you will vote as follows:
- Your thumbnail is marked with indelible ink.
- You receive the relevant ballot paper(s).
- You mark the ballot(s) in secret, place and seal the ballot(s) in an unmarked envelope.
- The unmarked envelope is placed in another envelope that is marked with your name, ID number and voting district (VD) number. The use of two envelopes is to ensure the secrecy of your ballot (the outer envelope is discarded before counting).
- IEC officials take the envelope and place it in a secure ballot box for special votes.
- Your name is marked off the voters’ roll with “SV” to indicate that you have cast a special vote.