Special voting through home visits and at voting stations is taking place on Tuesday for those whose applications for special votes were approved for the 9 December by-elections.
By-elections, affecting nearly 172 000 certified voters, are scheduled to take place on Wednesday in 24 wards across 17 municipalities in all the country’s nine provinces.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has expressed satisfaction with its readiness to hold the by-elections, which will be contested by 77 candidates representing 14 political parties. There will be 18 independent candidates participating.
Voting will take place between 7 a.m and 9 p.m in 118 voting stations.
Voting in the 9 Dec #byelections and not sure what to expect when visiting your voting station in the time of #CovidSA19? See our guide to voting safely at https://t.co/1oTMh4YgG8 pic.twitter.com/A6PH2ucKwW
— IEC South Africa (@IECSouthAfrica) December 7, 2020
Measures to curb COVID-19
The Electoral Commission says strict safety measures and protocols will be in place at voting stations to ensure the safety of all voters, election staff, observers, and other stakeholders.
“These include strict social distancing practices both outside and inside voting stations, the mandatory wearing of masks over nose and mouth of all persons within the boundaries of the voting station, the application of hand sanitisers to all persons entering and exiting the voting station,” says the organisation in a statement.
The traditional indelible ink marker pens will be replaced with an indelible ink liquid, which will be applied from a bottle to the thumb of voters using cotton buds. Officials will dispose of the buds after each use.
“Protective equipment including masks, gloves and face shields will be worn by election staff at voting stations and additional safety equipment will be worn for staff conducting home visits for those voters who are physically disabled, infirm or pregnant,” the IEC says.