No mask, no vote, says IEC

All voting station surfaces will be wiped with 70% alcohol disinfectant before and after use by each voter and election officials will stop anyone not wearing a mask from entering the polling station, says the IEC.

Covid-19 safety regulations will be firmly in place at all voting stations on election day, says the national Department of Health.

And voters will not need to produce a vaccination certificate to be allowed to vote, says spokesman Foster Mohale.

“As much as we are concerned by both private and public gatherings where there is low compliance with Covid-19 regulations and where people are not wearing their face masks, vaccination remains voluntary in South Africa,” he said. “This means there is no mandatory vaccination to receive public service or access government premises.”

That extended to voting in the municipal elections.

“A vaccination certificate is not a requirement for people to cast their votes,” he said. “However, we do encourage everyone – including political leaders – to be compliant with Covid-19 regulations, to prevent their rallies and events to become super-spreader events.“

The Department of Health was working closely with the IEC to ensure a high level of compliance with Covid-19 regulations and to ensure voting stations were safe.

The IEC website has clear guidelines about what the public can expect.

The first point is to wear a mask when you vote.

Wearing a mask is still a valid and applicable lockdown regulation for all people in public places.

If you don’t have a mask or face cover, the election officials will refuse you entry to the voting station.

All voters are to keep a distance of 1.5metres from fellow voters, election officials, party agents and observers, at all times, while at their voting stations.

Voters are asked to wait their turn before entering the voting station as only a limited number of people are allowed to gather inside the venue at the same time.

You will have liquid sanitiser sprayed on your hands by an election official before you enter and leave the voting station.

All election officials will be provided with masks and face shields to wear in line with government regulations.

The IEC website advises voters to take their own pens for filling in forms and marking ballots at the voting station. Election officials will be sanitising all pens at the voting station after each use, but having your own pen will minimise risk.

Election officials will check that your thumb is dry before applying the ink to take your fingerprint, and they will ask you to wait a moment before you move on, to ensure that the ink has dried before your hands are sanitised as you leave the voting station.

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

You are entitled to politely speak up if people are standing too close to you or if anyone’s behaviour makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

For any further questions, visit: www.elections.org.za