A voter casts her ballot on Thursday -- voting was extended to a second day, purportedly because of delays in printing ballot papers

Electoral Commission urged South Africans to exercise their democratic right to vote in huge numbers, as the nation heads to the seventh National and Provincial Elections on Wednesday.

During a media briefing in Midrand on Tuesday, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the Electoral Commission Sy Mamabolo said, "Our clarion call to all South Africans is - let's go out in huge numbers and vindicate our democratic right to vote," SA News reported.

The commission praised political parties and independent candidates for their mostly peaceful campaigns and said that this spirit of tolerance and patience should continue on Election Day, which is held on May 29.

Mamabolo said it is high time to work together to ensure that these elections are free, fair, and safe, adding that the outcome should reflect on the will of the South African electorate. He also acknowledged the successful voting of special votes at 22,626 voting stations and home visits over the past two days with 937,144 voters exercising their rights.

He explained that the commission would use what it learned from the last two days of special voting to improve the process and enhance the voter experience on Election Day. He reminded voters that its 23,292 voting stations will be open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

"The commission urges all the remaining 26 million eligible voters to go out and cast their votes tomorrow," he said. "It is important to emphasize that eligible voters who will be at the voting station at 21h00 will be allowed to vote and not turned away."

Mamabolo added, "The only exception to the general rule is that a voter may vote outside of their registered voting district only after notifying the CEO. Notifications in this regard closed on May 17. Approximately 360,000 voters have been approved to vote outside their voting districts."

All eligible voters are supposed to carry valid South African identity documents and they will be verified on the voter's roll and marked with ink on the left thumb, the Chief Electoral Officer explained.

He further shared that each voter will be given three ballot papers including the national, regional, and provincial ballot papers. Voters should indicate their choices with one mark on each ballot. Each paper will be validated with a stamp on the reverse and all three ballots must be submitted in the ballot box at the voting station.