EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SPECIAL VOTE

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.

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

Do I qualify for a special vote?

You can apply if you:

  • Are a registered voter;
  • Have a valid South African identity document (green, barcoded ID book; smartcard ID, or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate).

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

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.

How to apply for a special vote at my voting station?

If you can’t vote at your voting station on election day, you can apply to cast a special vote at your voting station on the predetermined date only, as per the election timetable, in one of the following ways:

  • Using our secured online application form
  • By SMSing your identity number to 32249 (R1.00 per SMS). (For special vote at a voting station ONLY)
  • By visiting your local IEC office (not the national or provincial offices) and submitting a VEC 1 form. Forms can only be hand-delivered (no emails or faxes accepted), but someone else can deliver your completed form on your behalf.

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.

How to apply for a special vote by home visit?

If you can’t travel to your voting station on election day because you are physically infirm, disabled or pregnant, you can apply to cast a special vote at your voting station on the predetermined date only, as per the election timetable, in one of the following ways:

  • Using our secured online application form
  • By having a family member or friend visits your local IEC office (not the national or provincial offices) and submitting a VEC 1 form. Forms can only be hand-delivered (no emails or faxes accepted), but someone else can deliver your completed form on your behalf.

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.

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 at the address that you indicated in your application for a home visit 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.
  • 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 (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.