6 insider voting tips for pregnant women and parents in South Africa

by BabyYumYum
line of pregnant mom waiting in a queue
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Exercising your democratic right to vote is a fundamental aspect of citizenship, but what happens when you’re pregnant or have young children? In South Africa, special provisions exist to ensure that everyone voting, regardless of their circumstances, can vote. 

This comprehensive guide explores how pregnant individuals and parents with children can navigate the voting process in South Africa, providing valuable insights and practical tips for casting their ballots.

Understanding special votes

A special vote is a mechanism that allows registered voters who are unable to vote at their designated voting station on election day to cast their ballots on a predetermined date before the official election date. These special votes are subject to specific rules and can only be cast on specified dates outlined in the election timetable.

Who qualifies for a special vote?

You may qualify for a special vote in South Africa if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Pregnancy: If you are pregnant and unable to travel to your designated voting station on election day.
  • Physical infirmity or disability: If you have a physical disability that prevents you from visiting a voting station.
  • Childcare responsibilities: If you are a parent with young children and cannot vote at your designated voting station on election day.

Applying for a special vote

If you fall into any of the qualifying categories mentioned above, you can apply for a special vote at your designated voting station or by home visit. Here’s how:

At your voting station:

  • Online application: Utilise the secure online application form provided by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
  • SMS application: Send an SMS with your identity number to 32249 (R1.00 per SMS) to apply for a special vote at a voting station.
  • In-person application: Visit your local IEC office and submit an MEC 35 form. Ensure the form is hand-delivered as emails or faxes are not accepted.

By home visit:

The special voting process

On the predetermined special vote date, voting officials will either visit your home or set up a special voting station at your designated location. You will be permitted to cast your vote, ensuring that your voice is heard even under challenging circumstances.

The right to vote in South Africa

In South Africa, the right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy, and special vote provisions ensure that every eligible citizen can participate in shaping the future of our nation. Whether you’re pregnant, have young children, or face physical limitations, these mechanisms enable you to exercise your democratic rights without hindrance. By understanding the process of applying for and casting a special vote, you can actively contribute to a stronger, more inclusive South Africa.

Remember, every vote matters, and your unique circumstances should never prevent you from making your voice heard in the democratic process.

Tips for Pregnant Moms and Parents with Young Children on Voting Day

Tips for pregnant moms & parents with young children on voting day: 

As a pregnant mom or a parent with young children, participating in elections is essential. Here are some practical tips to make voting day smoother for you and your little ones:

  1. Plan ahead:

    • Check your voter registration: Ensure you are registered to vote. 
    • Know your voting station: Find out where your designated voting station is located. Consider proximity and accessibility when choosing your station.
  2. Talk to your children:

    • Explain the importance of voting to your kids. Keep it age-appropriate and emphasize that voting helps shape the future.
    • Discuss what qualities make a good leader, such as intelligence, patience, bravery, and kindness.
  3. Be transparent:

    • Share your views and values with your children. Discuss issues that matter to you and how voting can impact positive change.
    • Avoid negative language about opposing candidates. Focus on empowering your child to make informed choices.
  4. Make it a family affair:

    • Involve your children in the process. Take them with you to the polling station if possible.
    • Let them see democracy in action and feel the excitement of casting a vote.
  5. Be patient & prepared:

    • Voting lines can be long. Bring snacks, water, and any necessary items for your children.
    • Consider bringing a stroller or baby carrier for comfort.
  6. Set a positive example:

    • Show your kids that voting is a civic duty. Be enthusiastic and proud to participate.
    • Your actions will leave a lasting impression on them.

Remember, every vote matters, and involving your children early sets the foundation for their future engagement in the democratic process. Let’s create a brighter South Africa together! 🇿🇦


*Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on official guidelines and regulations from the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC). For the most up-to-date and accurate information, please refer to the IEC’s official website or contact their helpline

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