Nov 2021 1st edition

Vote safely during COVID-19

Written by Allison Cooper

If we all work together, we can help keep each other safe from COVID-19 on voting day.

With the Local Government Elections set to take place on 1 November, the safety of voters and staff during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic is a top priority for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Participating in the Local Government Elections is important because municipal councils play a crucial role in providing services to people. By voting, you can have a say in what happens in your community. Your vote is your voice to choose your government.

The IEC, which has called on all eligible voters to cast their ballot on 1 November, has put a COVID-19 protocol guide together to assist voters and let them know what to expect on voting day.

COVID-19 protocol guide

Voters must:

  • Wear a face mask, as per lockdown regulations for all people in public places. If you don’t have a mask or face cover, the election officials will refuse you entry into the voting station and you will not be able to vote.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres from other voters, election officials, party agents and observers at all times.
  • Wait your turn before entering the voting station, as only a limited number of people may be gathered inside the venue at the same time.
  • Sanitise your hands before you enter and leave the voting station.
  • Bring your own pen for marking your ballots. If you have to use a voting station pen, don’t worry as these will be sanitised after each use.
  • Wait after your thumbnail has been inked to ensure that the ink has dried before your hands are sanitised when leaving the voting station.
  • Politely speak up if people are too close to you, or if anyone’s behaviour makes you feel uncomfortable.

All election staff will be provided with a disposable face mask, face shields, disposable cardboard bins, sanitiser wipes, hand sanitisers, disinfectant fogger sprays and social distance markers.

* Information supplied by the Electoral Commission.

For more information about the Local Government Elections, visit or call the Contact Centre at 0800 11 8000.

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