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Section 24A and Three Ballots

Neelam Rahim |

4-minute read
18 May 2024 | 10:27 CAT


We’re officially on the countdown to the 29 May Elections. Let’s mark 30 years of democracy by showing up and making our voices heard. By law, registered voters must vote at the voting station at which they registered to vote. So, voters will NO longer be allowed to apply for a Section 24A vote on voting day. Those voting at another voting station in a province outside their voting district will only get the National Ballot, while those voting within the province will get all three ballots. 

In an interview on Radio Islam International, Veli Inzamanday, an IEC Delegated Official, explains the process for special votes. 

Inzamanday said the Electoral Act makes provision in section 24A to allow registered voters who can’t vote at their voting station on Election Day to notify the CEO of the Electoral Commission of their intention to vote at another voting station by a date prescribed in the Election Timetable. That period for the 2024 elections is from 15 March 2024 to 17 May 2024.

Following the change in the electoral law, the IEC introduced the use of three ballots for the 2024 elections. This is necessitated by separating the 400 seats in the National Assembly into 200 compensatory seats and 200 regional seats, allowing independent candidates to be included. 

The national ballot is for the election of the compensatory 200 members of the National Assembly, which is only contested by political parties on a closed-list basis. The ballot will be the same for the entire country. This ballot will have the names of the contesting political parties on it. Additionally, each party will have its name, the face of the party leader, an abbreviation of the party, the party logo and the box required to make the mark.

Voters are not compelled to vote for the same party across all the ballot papers.

Provincial Legislature Ballot: A provincial ballot will be used to elect the provincial legislature members in each province. It contains the names of the political parties and independent candidates that have met the requirements to contest each provincial election and will vary from province to province. Voters can identify their preferred independent candidates or political parties the same way as above.

All these ballot papers must be marked once next to the party or independently for which a voter is voting. According to the IEC, “One ballot paper, one mark”; otherwise, if there are multiple marks on the ballot paper, it will be considered a spoiled ballot. 

Meanwhile, all ballot papers are Universal Braille Template compliant for the blind and partially sighted. This change in the ballot system has consequently led to confusion among voters, necessitating extensive voter education so that on 29 May, the IEC will not see spoiled ballots due to similarities in party logos or identifiers. However, in its voter education drives, the IEC has indicated that voters can request a fresh ballot up to three times at any voting station to mitigate confusion.

Listen to the full interview on Your World Today with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie and Veli Inzamanday, an IEC Delegated Official, here.



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