The electoral commission has urged families of incarcerated offenders who are in possession of the prisoners’ identity documents to deliver them to correctional facilities for voter registration.
The electoral commission will conduct voter registration of prisoners on January 22 and 23.
According to the commission, there are on average 160,000 offenders including remand detainees in SA’s 240 jails.
“In preparation for this, the electoral commission is appealing to family members in possession of offenders’ identity documents to make arrangements to deliver these to the correctional facility concerned by Monday 21 January,” said chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo.
“Most offenders do not keep their IDs with them and they are often kept at home by family members,” Mamabolo said, adding that in the past this has inhibited voter registration among inmates.
Facilities will be made available to keep the identity documents safe for voter registration and returned to family members during their next visit, the commission said.
“Since 1999, the electoral commission has worked closely with the department of correctional services to provide registration and voting opportunities for inmates in line with the constitutional right extended to prisoners to vote. Inmates are registered to vote in the municipality in which they resided prior to incarceration,” Mamabolo said.