IEC confident of high voter turnout

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Pretoria - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is confident more than 80 percent of those who have registered will make their way to the voting stations to cast their vote on Wednesday.

"We feel very confident this time around. We have never experienced such a high enthusiasm," IEC chairperson Dr Brigalia Bam said, briefing the media on Monday ahead of the 2009 General Elections.

Ms Bam said the number of first time voters and young people who have shown interest in this year's election has far exceeded that of previous elections.

Nearly 800 000 registered voters are between the age 18 and 19 while more than five million are between the age 20 and 29.

She said the enthusiasm shown by South Africans living abroad in voting at missions abroad last week was "incredible". There were at least 16 240 registered South Africans abroad, most of which were London.

"We can easily make that assumption because if we get anything less than 80 percent, it will be disappointing," Dr Bam said.

She said campaigning by political parties had been intense and that the IEC had no doubt this campaigning had motivated voters to go to the polls in their numbers.

In less than 24 hours, South Africans will go to the polls. Registered voters will be able to cast their vote between 7am and 9pm.

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