Electoral Amendment Bill in the Pipeline

Parliament

A draft bill providing for all South Africans to be allowed to register to vote on production of a valid ID has been drawn up.

The Draft Electoral Amendment Bill, a private member’s bill, was drafted by Michael Waters, a Democratic Alliance (DA) member of parliament.

The draft bill seeks to provide for:

•    All South African citizens to be permitted to register to vote on production of a valid ID document only.
•    The day designated for overseas casting of votes to necessarily fall on a weekend.
•    Voting stations overseas to not be limited to consulates, embassies or high commissions, allowing for more remote voters to be able to vote without travelling great distances.
•    Vote counting procedures to properly account for differences in time zones when considering deadlines.
•    Voters ordinarily based overseas to be provided with provincial ballots as well as national ballots.

The plan is to table the draft bill in parliament during the second quarter of 2018/19.

The notice points out that it is vital that registration and voting mechanisms be as broad and inclusive as possible.

The DA holds the view that currently the mechanisms in place for overseas based voters fall short of this standard.

Comment on the proposed content of the draft bill, published in Government Gazette 41677, is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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