Over 440 candidates from 40 political parties are set to contest the by-elections in 95 wards on 11 November 2020. A total of 444 candidates – including 19 independent candidates – were certified as contestants for the by-elections by the Electoral Commission yesterday. Of the candidates, 305 (69%) are male and 139 (31%) are female.
Yesterday also saw the opening of applications for special votes for the by-elections. In terms of the election timetable, voters have until 4pm on Friday, 30 October to apply to cast a special ballot. Special ballots are available via home visits to voters who are unable to travel to voting stations due to pregnancy, infirmity or disability. Voters who are unable to vote on the Election Day (11 November) due to absence from their voting district may also apply to case a special vote the day before the by-election.
Applications for special votes can also be made online via the IEC’s website, www.elections.org.za(link is external). Once voters have applied online they will receive an SMS notifying them of the outcome when their application has been processed. They can also check the status of their special vote application online at www.elections.org.za(link is external).
Voters can also apply for special votes via cellphone by SMSing their identity number to 32249 (Charged at R1). The SMS application facility is only available for those applying to cast a special vote at their voting station and NOT for home visits.
The by-elections will be held under strict new COVID-19 protocols aimed at ensuring the safety of voters, election staff, party agents, observers and other stakeholders. These include implementing strict social distancing practices outside and inside voting stations along with the use of hand sanitisers as voters enter and exit the voting station.
Voters, election staff and all those entering the voting station will be required to wear a mask at all times. Voters are also encouraged to bring their own pens to mark their ballot papers, although pens will be provided and sanitized after each use.
For more information on these by-elections contact your local (municipal) IEC office weekdays during office hours. Contact details for all IEC offices are available on the IEC website at www.elections.org.za(link is external) under Contact Us.
Source: Government of South Africa