Special votes

A special vote allows a registered voter, who can't vote at their voting station on election day, to apply to vote on a predetermined day before election day.

Application requirements

To apply for a special vote, you must:

  • be registered in South Africa as a voter;
  • have a green, bar-coded ID book or a valid temporary identity certificate; and
  • be on the Voters’ Roll.

To make sure that you're registered and to find out where you're registered, you can:

  • SMS your ID number to 32810;
  • Call our call centre on 0800 11 8000; or
  • Go to your Municipal Electoral Office.

See How do I register? for details on where and how to register.

Municipal elections

Who can apply for a Special Vote?

The laws on special votes during municipal elections can be found in Section 55 of the Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act, 2000 (Act No. 27 of 2000).

By law, you can apply for a special vote if you:

  • Can’t travel to your voting station because you are physically infirm or disabled; or
  • Can’t vote at your voting station on election day.


How to apply for a special vote

See Special votes: Municipal elections.

What happens when I cast a special vote?

If your application for a special vote is successful, you will vote as follows: 

1. Your thumbnail is marked with indelible ink.
2. Your ID book is stamped.
3. You receive the relevant ballot paper(s).
4. You mark the ballot(s) in secret, place and seal the ballot(s) in an unmarked envelope
5. The unmarked envelope is placed in another envelope that is marked with your name, ID number and voting district (VD) number. The use of two envelopes is to ensure the secrecy of your ballot (the outer envelope is discarded before counting).
6. IEC officials take the envelope and place it in a secure ballot box for special votes.
7. Your name is marked off the Voters’ Roll with “SV” to indicate that you have cast a special vote.