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Take ID's to prisoners, so they can register to vote: IEC appeals to families

Jan 17, 2019
Take ID's to prisoners, so they can register to vote: IEC appeals to families

The Electoral Commission says it will conduct voter registration among offenders incarcerated in South Africa’s prisons over 22 – 23 January 2019.

Last week, the Electoral Commission officially launched the 2019 National and Provincial Elections.

In preparation for this, the Electoral Commission is appealing to family members in possession of offenders’ ID documents to make arrangements to deliver these to the correctional facility concerned by Monday 21 January.

The production of an official ID document – either a smart card ID, a barcoded ID book or a temporary ID certificate – is necessary to register as a voter.

“Most offenders do not keep their ID documents with them and they are often kept at home by family members,” explained Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo.

“In the past this has inhibited voter registration among inmates.”

IEC launches 2019 National and Provincial Elections

'IEC working with Correctional Services to register inmates as voters'

Arthur Fraser, National Commissioner of Correctional Services, said facilities would be made available to keep the ID documents safe for voter registration and then return these to family members during their next visit.

Since 1999, the Electoral Commission has worked closely with the Department of Correctional Services to provide voter registration and voting opportunities for inmates in line with the Constitutional right extended to prisoners to vote.

Inmates are registered to vote in the municipality in which they resided prior to incarceration.

There are on average approximately 160 000 offenders including remand detainees in South Africa’s 240 prisons.

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