Prisoners are ready to vote



Published May 27, 2024


The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said it is prepared and ready for the 2024 National and Provincial Elections to be conducted by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on Wednesday as a total of 14 753 inmates have registered to vote.

The department said a comprehensive voter education was also provided to inmates in order to ensure they are informed about their rights and the voting process.

DCS said it has been working with the IEC in ensuring that all logistical aspects of the voting process are meticulously planned and executed, and that ballot papers, secure voting booths and other necessary logistics at correctional facilities are provisioned.

“In an election for the National Assembly or a provincial legislature, a person who on election day is in prison and whose name appears on the voters roll for another district, is deemed for that election day to have been registered by his or her name having been entered on the voters roll for the voting district in which he or she is in prison,” said the department.

DCS said inmates who registered as voters before admission to a correctional centre shall not be denied an opportunity to cast their votes. The transfer and release or placement of inmates on the voting date will be managed in such a way that it does not impede their right to vote.

Independent observers will be allowed to monitor the election process within correctional facilities as per the prescripts of the commission.

The department said observation of the voting process by political parties will be limited to two representatives per political party. This is due to limited space, while taking into cognisance the security imperatives of correctional centres.

The Justice and Correctional Services, Minister Ronald Lamola emphasised the government’s commitment towards upholding the democratic rights of citizens to vote including those in our correctional system.

“The measures we have put in place are designed to ensure that eligible inmates can exercise their right to vote in a secure and transparent manner. Hence, this initiative marks a significant step forward in ensuring that our democratic processes are inclusive and just,” said Lamola.

The Star

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