New rules to apply when Electoral Laws Amendment Bill becomes law
Among other things, the bill makes it illegal for public funds to be used in campaigns and makes sure that voters whose addresses aren’t yet on the voters roll will still be able to cast a ballot.
CAPE TOWN - There’ll be new rules in place for next year’s elections as soon as the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill becomes law.
The bill was passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday and must now go before the National Council of Provinces.
Among other things, it makes it illegal for public funds to be used in campaigns and makes sure that voters whose addresses aren’t yet on the voters roll will still be able to cast a ballot.
This follows the Constitutional Court’s ruling that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) needs to record voters’ places of residence after the outcome of the 2013 by-elections in Tlokwe were challenged.
The IEC has made steady progress in updating the voters roll, but there are still names on it with no addresses. The Electoral Laws Amendment Bill makes sure these voters won’t be disenfranchised.
Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele said: “On election day, such a voter may present herself at a voting station. She’ll be given a form to record her address before being issued with both national and provincial ballots.”
But if a voter can’t provide an address, Cwele says they’ll only be allowed to cast a national, and not a provincial vote.
The bill also expressly bans the use of public funds for campaigns, apart from the money allocated to parties represented in Parliament and provincial legislatures each year.
It also makes the cut-off date for voter registration the day the President announces a date for the elections.
(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)