IEC announces dates for special votes

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pretoria - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced special voting dates for South Africans who cannot vote at a voting station due to physical infirmity or it they are temporarily out of the country on Election Day.

"Only certain categories of voters qualify to cast a special vote on 20 and 21 April within the country or on the 15 April at the South African missions abroad," said IEC Chief Electoral Officer, Adv Pansy Tlakula on Monday.

According to Ms Tlakula South Africans who qualify for a special vote includes people with physical infirmity, disability and pregnancy.

She said South Africans also qualify if they are absent due to Government service abroad, being an election official and being a member of the security services performing an election duty.

"Being temporarily absent from the country for the purpose of a holiday, a business trip, attending a tertiary institution, on an educational visit or participating in an international sports event," she said also qualifies for a special vote.

The IEC has published the election timetable for the upcoming national and provincial elections, in the Government Gazette last Monday.

Potential voters in the category of physical infirmity, disability and pregnancy can apply either between 1 April to 14 April at the office of the Municipal Electoral Officer or on 20 April between 9am and 5pm at the office of the Presiding Officer of the voting district which they are registered.

Adv Tlakula said if potential voters find themselves in hospital in a different town or city they must apply between 1 and 14 April at the Municipal Electoral Office of the town in which the hospital is situated.

She said IEC officials will visit such voters on 20 and 21 April at the venue indicated on their application to enable them to cast their votes.

Election officials, members of the security forces performing election duty as well as South Africans who will be outside the borders of the country and have indicated they wanted to vote before departure, can apply and vote on 20 and 21 April between 9am and 5pm at the office of the presiding officer of the voting district in which they have registered.

South Africans who will be temporarily out of the country on Election Day, on holiday, a business trip, attending a tertiary institution, participating in an international sports event are required to notify the chief electoral officer of their intention to vote.

Such people will have to specify on whether they want to cast a special vote or want to vote at a specified South African foreign mission abroad on 15 April.

They can do this by completing a VEC10 form which is available on the IEC website and deliver the completed form to the IEC not later than midnight 27 February.

Voters voting in South Africa will have to produce their South African, green bar-coded Identity Documents or a valid temporary Identity Certificate.

Those who will be voting abroad will be asked to produce both the Identity Documents and passports.

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