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.
Special voting days allocated for the 2016 Municipal Elections are 1 and 2 August 2016 – the two days before election day on 3 August 2016.
If you are away from your voting district from 1 to 3 August 2016, then unfortunately you forfeit your vote in the 2016 Municipal Elections. Also note that voting abroad is only possible in national elections, and not in municipal elections.

Do I qualify for a special vote?

You can apply if you –

  • are a registered voter
  • have a green, barcoded ID book, smartcard ID, or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate.

To make sure that you're registered and to find out where you're registered, you can:

  • Check your voter registration status online
  • SMS your ID number to 32810 
  • Dial *120*432# on your cellphone
  • Make an appointment to visit your local IEC office

By law, you can apply for a special vote if you:

  • can’t travel to your voting station because you are physically infirm, disabled or pregnant, or
  • can’t vote at your voting station on election day, but can do so on the predetermined special voting days.

How do I apply?

Applications for special votes for the 2016 Municipal Elections will open on Friday 10 June 2016 and close on Friday 8 July 2016, as specified in the official election timetable.  You can apply for a special vote:

  • Online - click here to apply
  • Via SMS - SMS your ID Number to 32249 (R1.00 per SMS). Note this option applies only to voting station special vote
  • At your local IEC office by submitting a MEC35 form. Forms can only be hand-delivered, but someone else can deliver your completed form on your behalf (Download MEC35 form)
  • Via the Official IEC Election application. Download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store

You will receive an SMS notifying you of the outcome once your application has been processed, but you can also check the status of your special vote application online.

When do I vote?

Special voting days allocated for the 2016 Municipal Elections are 1 and 2 August 2016 – the two days before election day on 3 August 2016. By law, special votes can only be cast on the dates specified in the election timetable and no exceptions can be made.

Where do I vote?

  • If you can travel, but can’t vote at the voting station where you are registered on election day, you must vote at the voting station where you are registered either on Monday 1 August 2016 or Tuesday 2 August 2016. Voting stations will be open from 8am to 5pm for special voting (NOT from 7am to 7pm as is the case on election day).
  • If you can’t travel to the voting station where you are registered because you are physically infirm, disabled or pregnant, voting officials will visit you on Monday 1 August 2016 or Tuesday 2 August 2016 at the place where you live (must be within the voting district where you're registered) and allow you to vote. 

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 papers
  • You mark the ballots in secret, place and seal the ballots in an unmarked envelop
  • The unmarked envelope is placed in another envelope that is marked with your name, ID number and voting district (VD) 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.