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Covid-19: Ready to cast your ballot? Don’t forget to bring your ID and oh, your OWN pen if you prefer

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The IEC has introduced some Covid-19 prevention measures for the local government elections to prevent the elections posing a risk to all participants.

Picture: Chris Collingridge/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cape Town – Voters can bring their pens when they cast their ballots for the local government elections day on November 1.

The usual indelible ink markers will also make way for an indelible ink liquid to be applied on the thumbs.

These are some of the Covid-19 prevention measures the Electoral Commission of South Africa introduced for by-elections in 2020 to prevent the elections posing a risk to all participants.

Western Cape provincial electoral officer Michael Hendrickse said the measures included strict social distancing practices both outside and inside voting stations.

Hendrickse said there is mandatory wearing of masks over the nose and mouth of all persons within the boundaries of the voting station.

He also said there would be application of hand sanitisers to all persons entering the voting station.

Hendrickse said there would be the replacement of the traditional indelible ink marker pens with an indelible ink liquid which will be applied from a bottle to the thumb of voters using cotton buds which will be disposed after each use.

He said voters could bring their own pens so as to help minimise the sharing the pen at the voting station.

According to Hendrickse, protective equipment including masks was procured for election staff for voting stations and for conducting home visits for those voters who are physically disabled, infirm or pregnant.

Hendrickse said new voter management devices were being procured ahead of local government elections.

The VMD devices replace zip-zip machines which were primarily a queue management device.

The new devices are used for voter registration, record staff attendance, check the voters’ roll, ballot paper tracking, voting station monitoring and as a calculator when votes are counted.

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