About 774 094 citizens, who applied for special votes, will be making their mark today and Tuesday.

About 452 418 (58.4%) of those who applied will cast their votes during a home visit by election officials accompanied by party agents and observers.

The home votes are granted for those who have physically infirmity, disability and are pregnant.

The remaining 321 676 voters (41.6%) will cast their special votes at their voting stations between 09H00 and 17H00.

The special voting process involves using a double envelope system, in which the marked ballot of the voter is placed in an unmarked envelope, which is then placed inside a second envelope that contains the voter’s ID.

The outer envelope is used to ensure an accurate register and verification of special votes and is removed when the envelope is opened at the close of voting on Election Day, 8 May.

Once it’s removed from the larger envelope, the inner envelope is placed in a ballot box to ensure secrecy of the vote and de-link the marked ballot from the details of the voter on the outer envelope. 

Special votes will then be transported and stored securely overnight at municipal warehouses and other secure locations, including local police stations before being transported back to the voting station on Wednesday for inclusion in the count.

The Electoral Commission has assured that the overnight security facilities are vetted by the State Security Agency to ensure adequate security arrangements.

Voters, who applied for a special vote, can check the status of their application on the website at https://www.elections.org.za/IECOnline/Check-My-Special-Vote-Application… or SMS their ID number to 32711 (charged at R1).

On Wednesday, the IEC will open 22 924 voting stations for the rest of the South Africans to cast their votes.