Let's address the voters' roll

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Nosihle Shelembe

The Electoral Commission has encouraged all eligible South African voters to visit their voting stations next month to update their details on the voters’ roll.

“The voters’ roll is the bedrock of electoral integrity. Its quality is the foundation for credible, free and fair elections. This includes making sure all eligible votes are registered in the correct segment of the voters’ roll,” Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said.

Mamabolo was addressing the media on the Electoral Commission’s progress regarding updating the voters’ roll in preparation for the 2019 elections.

In June 2016, the Constitutional Court handed down an order stating that the Electoral Commission must have a record of addresses for all registered voters.

The Constitutional Court gave the Electoral Commission until June 2018 to update the voters’ roll with all available addresses.

The Electoral Commission will on the weekend on 10 and 11 March 2018 open its voting stations for all eligible voters to update their details.

“All 22 612 voting stations around the country will open for the public between 8am and 5pm,” Mamabolo said.

The voting stations will be opened to assist new voters to register to vote, allow already registered voters who have moved since they registered to reregister in their correct voting district and allow registered voters whose address details are not on the voters roll to provide their information.

“Critically, this registration weekend is a milestone towards the culmination of a two year project to obtain addresses for all registered voters.

“It is an opportunity to ensure that voters are registered in the correct voting district segments,” he said.

Registration will not be opened internationally on this weekend however the IEC is in talks with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to discuss modalities for registering South Africans who reside outside of the country.

Mamabolo said the Electoral Commission still does not as yet have addresses for about 2.8 million voters and a further 3.5 million addresses are currently classified as incomplete or generic.

This category requires further analysis to ascertain whether there is any further detail available.

The Electoral commission has a total of 25 899 778 registered voters.

Over the past two years the Electoral Commission has made significant progress in updating addresses on the voters’ roll.

These include increasing the proportion of complete addresses from 34% of registered voters in March 2016 to 75% of registered voters currently.

The Electoral Commission has also reduced the proportion of incomplete or generic addresses from 34% in March 2016 to 14%.

Furthermore, the Electoral Commission has reduced the percentage of registered voters without any recorded address from 32% to approximately 11%.

IEC awareness campaign

In support of the drive to encourage voters to visit voting stations next month, the Electoral Commission has launched a national advertising campaign under the slogan: “Let’s address the voters’ roll”.

“We are ready to open all the voting stations in March to make it easy and convenient for all voters to update their registration details on the voters’ roll. But we need voters to show up and make use of this opportunity,” Mamabolo said.

He said voters visiting their voting station should take a copy of their bar coded ID book, smart ID or temporary certificate.

“They will be assisted to complete a registration form providing their home address at which they ordinarily resided which will allow the Electoral Commission to place them in the correct voting district. Proof of residence is not required,” Mamabolo said.

Voters can contact 0800 11 8000 from Monday till Friday during office hours to find out their correct voting station and can ask questions.

Those with access to the internet can update and review their addresses on the online facility is available at https://www.elections.org.za/myIEC/account/Register

Registered voters can also SMS their ID number to 32810 to receive an SMS containing the address of their voting station (charged at R1). – SAnews.gov.za


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