Feb 2016 2nd Edition

All you need to know about special votes

South Africans will have an opportunity to strengthen the country’s democracy by making their mark at the ballot box in the Local Government Elections later this year.

By casting their votes, South Africans elect leaders of their choice to help improve their quality of life. 

Citizens can check their voter registration status online, SMS their ID number to 32810 or make an appointment at a local IEC office.

Special votes

A special vote allows a registered voter, who can’t vote at their voting station on election day, to apply to vote on a predetermined day before election day.

Not everyone qualifies for a special vote. Those who wish to apply for a special vote must:
  • Be registered voters.
  • Have green, bar-coded ID books, smartcard IDs or a valid temporary identity certificates (apply at a Home Affairs office).
  • Meet the conditions for the specific type of election (see below).

Do I qualify for a special vote?

You can apply for a special vote if you:

  • Can’t travel to your voting station because you are physically unwell, disabled or pregnant or can’t vote at your voting station on election day.
When do I vote?

By law, special votes can only be cast on the date/s specified in the election timetable and no exceptions can be made.

Where do I vote?

  • If you can’t travel to the voting station where you are registered because you are physically unwell, disabled or pregnant, voting officials will visit you at the place where you’re living (must be within the voting district where you're registered) and allow you to vote.
  • If you can travel, but can’t vote at the voting station where you are registered on election day, you will vote at the voting station where you are registered on the date specified in the election timetable (usually a day or two before election day).
  • What happens when I cast a special vote?

If your application for a special vote is successful, you will vote as follows:

  • Your thumbnail is marked with indelible ink.
  • Your ID book is stamped.
  • You receive the relevant ballot paper(s).
  • You mark the ballot(s) in secret, place and seal the ballot(s) in an unmarked envelope.
  • The unmarked envelope is placed in another envelope that is marked with your name, ID number and voting district number. The use of two envelopes is to ensure the secrecy of your ballot (the outer envelope is discarded before counting).
  • IEC officials take the envelope and place it in a secure ballot box for special votes.
  • Your name is marked off the Voters’ Roll with “SV” to indicate that you have cast a special vote.


For more information call the IEC on: on 0800 11 8000 with your election queries. The contact centre is open Monday to Friday, from 7am to 9pm

*Source: www.elections.org.za

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