Pretoria – Voters have until 5pm on Friday to apply for special votes for the 2016 Local Elections, says the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
The commission on Tuesday said special votes are available for all registered voters including disabled, infirm and pregnant voters as well as members of the security forces, election officials, the media and any other voters who are unable to visit their voting station on Election Day, 3 August 2016.
The commission said there are two forms of special votes, which are home visits and special voting at people’s voting station.
“Home visits is where election officials visit voters at their place of residence to allow them to cast their ballots. Home visits are only available to voters who are disabled, infirm or pregnant.
“Special voting at your voting station is available to registered voters who are unable to vote on 3 August,” said the commission.
To date, the commission said it has received over 285 000 applications for special votes. Of these, approximately 30% are for home visits.
“Special votes may only be cast by voters who have applied for and received approval from the Electoral Commission to cast a special vote,” said the commission.
For the first time applications for special votes are available online, on the Electoral Commission’s website www.elections.org.za and can also be accessed through a cellphone by SMSing the voter’s ID number to 32249 (SMS charged at R1).
The commission said the SMS application facility is only available for those applying to cast a special vote at their voting station and not for home visits.
“Over half of all applications to date have been received via SMS or online. The traditional method of applying for a special vote at local IEC offices by submitting a MEC35 form is also still available. Forms must be hand-delivered but can be delivered on behalf of a voter by someone else,” said the commission.