Special Voting in 2016 Local Government Elections currently underway

AUGUST 1, 2016

The casting of special votes for the 2016 Municipal Elections is currently underway across the country after polling stations opened at 8am.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Sunday said that it has put in place all the necessary measures and is confident that the process will go smoothly.

"Officials of the Commission will be visiting and assisting all people who have applied to be visited at their place of residence."

It said that the logistical arrangements for special votes have now been completed and the following materials have been delivered to their respective places:-

•           Approximately 153 000 ballot boxes

•           Approximately 133 000 voting booths

•           Approximately 1,8million A4 pages of the voters’ roll to provide a copy of the segment of the voters’ roll for each voting station

•           60 tons of stationery to voting stations

•           45 000 large banners to mark the voting stations

"73,9 billion ballot papers were printed for the 2016 Municipal Elections and these ballot papers will be delivered to the 22, 612 voting stations. These ballot papers include 4,649 unique ballot papers representing political parties and independent candidates contesting each municipality and each ward," the IEC said.

"The exercise of delivering voting materials to the voting stations was concluded over the weekend. The officials of the Commission have over the past few days procured sites where these materials would be securely kept for utilisation on voting day.

"Thus far, only one incident involving theft of ballots appears for ward 39. The police as well as Commission officials acted swiftly to deal with this situation. The stolen ballot papers where quarantined and black-listed using their serial numbers. New ballot papers using different security features have already been printed and dispatched to the correct voting stations."

The special votes will be cast between 08h00 and 17h00 on Monday, 1st August and Tuesday, 2nd August 2016.

"A record 719 222 applications for special votes were granted for the 2016 Municipal Elections. These applications include 315 597 or 44% of home visits and 403 625 or 56% of all applications. The special vote process will also provide the Commission with an opportunity to test its system ahead of the Elections on the 3rd of August 2016," the IEC said.

"The Commission has been working very closely with law enforcement agencies and is confident that the Electoral process will be smooth. The Commission wishes to urge all South Africans to go out in great numbers to cast their vote in these Elections. The Electoral process provides voters with a platform to express their will by electing individuals that they believe will best represent their interest."