Electoral Commission ready to register inmates at correctional centres

In preparation for inmates’ voter registration this week, the Electoral Commission (IEC) and Department of Correctional Services have urged families of inmates to deliver identity documents (ID) to correctional centres.

The inmates’ voter registration week is scheduled for 30 January to 1 February 2024, ahead of the national and provincial elections.

The IEC said it acknowledged that many offenders do not keep ID documents in their possession and it is for this reason family members are requested to make the necessary arrangements by delivering any of the following forms of identification: green-barcoded ID, smartcard ID or temporary identification certificate (TIC) to correctional facilities.

‘The commission has been informed that due to the transfer factor for inmates, correctional centres will also be accepting IDs for inmates serving sentences in distant towns or provinces. These identity documents will be transferred to the relevant facilities where inmates are incarcerated,’ the statement read.

Department of Correctional Services has indicated that it will put all necessary measures in place to ensure that IDs are kept safe.

‘The South African Constitution states that every eligible adult citizen has the right to vote. Placement in a correctional facility does not abrogate this right exercised by inmates without exception since the general elections in 1999. However, a green barcode ID, a smart card ID, or TIC is a necessity for one to register as a voter,’ the IEC said.

Eligible inmates will be permitted to apply for voter registration scheduled for 30 January to 1 February 2024 against the voting district where their home address falls.

‘The Electoral Commission urges all eligible inmates to participate in the upcoming 2024 national and provincial elections by updating their voter registration details or registering as voters.’

Source: South African Government News Agency