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Voters encouraged to seek alternative polling stations

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is encouraging voters who will not be near their voting stations where they registered to make an application to vote at an alternative voting station on 29 May, the day of the 2024 election.

The Commission says the window period for the Section 24A application ends on 17 May. It says the applications can be done online or in person, and it’s a simple and quick process.

“At previous general elections, voters who wanted to vote outside their voting stations would simply fill in Section 24A forms at a voting station of their choice, without pre-notification. This is no longer the case, says the IEC, according to SABC News.

PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS TO DEFRAUD ELECTORAL SYSTEM

It says the change to the system was made due to previous attempts by people who wanted to defraud the electoral system by voting more than once at different voting stations.

According to the IEC’s outreach coordinator in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Dr Nonhlanhla Hlongwane, the new provision is different from the special votes application process.

“So, previously, people would go to the voting station and fill the form, that affidavit that says they are registered to vote, but they are not at the voting station where they are registered,” Hlongwane said.

SECTION 24A APPLICATION DIFFERS FROM SPECIAL VOTE, SAYS IEC

“Now they have to pre-apply or pre-notify the IEC of their whereabouts during the election day so that we make provision for you to be given the ballot that you deserve,” she added.

Hlongwane said the new provision differs from the special votes application process, which opens in April.

“Unlike the special votes provision, special votes are votes that are special in that they happen two days before the actual voting day. So those are applications; they can be approved or declined,” she said.

“We encourage people that are for some reason, either cannot walk to the voting station themselves to apply for the special votes privilege,” Hlongwane concluded.

RAMAPHOSA WARNS AGAINST CASTING DOUBTS OVER IEC

The IEC also said that If you vote inside the province where you are registered, you will receive three ballot papers: the national, regional, and provincial ballot papers. If you vote outside the province where you are registered, you will receive the national ballot paper only.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa, has warned political parties against casting doubts on the integrity of South Africa’s electoral system following the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) letter to the United States government seeking election observers and monitors ahead of the general elections in May.

“The US embassy has already rejected this very clumsy PR stunt by the DA, which has sought to undermine the integrity of our elections. As a young democracy, we have a wonderful history of holding free and fair elections and in some cases better than some of the countries that the DA has approached,” said Vincent Mangwenya, the spokesperson for the President.

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