Elections - special vote applications open

2016-06-22 06:00


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ON 10 June applications for voters to cast special votes in the 2016 Municipal Elections opened. For the first time it will also be available online and via SMS.
“Special votes are available to registered voters including the disabled, infirm and pregnant as well as members of the security forces, election officials, media and voters who are unable to visit their voting station on election day, 3 August,” Councillor André Beetge said.
There are two forms of special votes:

· Home visits - this 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 and/or their caregiver who for obvious reason, are also unable to leave their charges to cast their vote.
· Special voting at your voting station - available to registered voters who are, for whatever reason, unable to cast their vote on 3 August.
“Special voting days for the 2016 Municipal Elections are 1 and 2 August between 8am and 5pm - unlike voting hours on election day which will be from 7am to 7pm,” Beetge said.
Special votes may only be cast by voters who have applied for and received approval from the Electoral Commission to cast a special vote. Applications opened at 8am on Friday, 10 June and close at 5pm on Friday, 8 July.
For the first time applications for special votes will be available online via the Electoral Commission’s website www.elections.org.za and by SMSing the voter’s ID number to 32249 (SMS charged at R1).
The SMS application facility is only available for those applying to cast a special vote at their voting station and not for home visits.
Once their application has been processed, voters will receive a notification via email or SMS of whether their application for a special vote was successful. They can also check the status of their special vote application online at www.elections.org.za
The traditional method of applying for a special vote at local IEC offices by submitting a MEC 35 form is also still available. Forms must be hand delivered, but can be delivered on behalf of a voter by someone else.
“The process for casting a special vote is the same as a normal vote – with the exception that the completed ballot papers are sealed in an unmarked envelope, which is then marked with the voter’s name, ID number and voting district (VD) number.
“IEC officials take the envelope and place it in a secure ballot box for special votes and the voter’s name is marked off the voters’ roll with ‘SV’ to indicate a special vote,” said Beetge.
Once voting on election day has ended, the outer envelopes of the special votes are discarded and the ballot papers are removed from the unmarked inner envelope and then counted as part of the counting process for all ballots.
For more information, contact Beetge on 082 718 8137.
- Supplied.

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