The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has adopted the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill during a special sitting.

Amendments were made following the Constitutional Court ruling, that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) must record the addresses of voters, after the 2013 by-election results in Tlokwe, in North West were disputed.

The Bill will now be sent to the President to sign into law.

The Electoral Laws Amendment Bill makes provision for the fact that voters whose addresses are not on the voters role, will also be able to make their cross.

Those who have proof of address will have to fill in a form at the voting station, to be able to get a provincial and national ballot. Those who can’t provide an address will only be able to vote in national elections.

The Bill also prohibits the use of public funds for electioneering. A member of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West, Chris Hattingh, proposed another amendment.

“We want the IEC to make alternative arrangements for South Africans living abroad so that they don’t have to travel so far to get to embassy. Some have to travel thousands of kilometres.”

The ANC did not support the motion. Its Northern Cape member, Dikgang Stock says it would have security and cost implications.

“DA trying to sneak this in by the backdoor, we have always voted at embassies which are perfectly safe. This proposed amendment would bring safety issues, the credibility of the elections into question.”

NCOP Chairperson Thandi Modise ruled that the amendment would effectively amount to a new Bill and that it should be taken up as a new process via the National Assembly.

The bill was approved by the National Assembly in December.

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