IEC prepares for voting with Covid

South Africans will experience voting under the Covid-19 regulations for the first time during the 11 November by-elections.

The by-elections in 96 wards will affect 461 voting districts and some 615,608 registered voters.

Most by-elections are a result of deaths of councillors during the lockdown period, while other councillors resigned or the municipal council was dissolved.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has new rules for every voter and every voting station.

1. Wear a mask when you register and vote. If you don’t have a mask or face cover, election officials will refuse you entry to the voting station and you’ll not be able to register, update your address, or vote.

2. Keep a distance of 1.5 metres from fellow voters, election officials, party agents and observers at all times while at your voting station. 

3. Wait your turn before entering the voting station as only a limited number of people may be gathered inside the venue at the same time. 

4. Liquid sanitiser will be sprayed on your hands by an election official before you enter and leave the voting station. 

5. Election officials will be provided with masks and face shields to wear. 

6. Bring your own pen for filling in forms and marking ballots at the voting station. In any event, election officials will be sanitising all pens at the voting station after each use. 

7. When inking your thumbnail, election officials will check that it is dry before applying the ink, and will ask you to wait a moment before you move on to ensure that the ink has dried before your hands are sanitised on departing the voting station. 

8. All voting station surfaces will be wiped with 70% alcohol disinfectant before and after use.