Over 22 000 voting stations open this weekend

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says over 22 000 voting stations throughout the country will open their doors at 8am on Saturday and Sunday for voter registrations.

According to the IEC, the voting stations will be staffed by over 73 000 election officials.

Briefing the media in Centurion on Wednesday, IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said people must visit the voting stations in their voting district.

“Voters are reminded to take their green barcoded identification, smart ID or valid temporary certificates,” he said.

Mamabolo said the voters will be assisted to complete a registration form providing their home address at which they reside.

“The registration weekend is evidence of the Electoral Commission’s early start to its preparations for the 2019 elections. These elections are expected to take place between May and August 2019,” Mamabolo said.

According to Mamabolo, the IEC does not have addresses for 2.8 million voters and that a further 3.5 million addresses are currently classified as incomplete or generic.

“The voters’ roll is a fundamental safeguard for free and fair elections. It is an instrument for facilitating electoral participation, which is placed at the disposal of political parties for campaign purposes.

“It serves a functional purpose as a planning tool for accurate provision of electoral material and the avoidance of electoral fraud,” Mamabolo said.

He urged all voters to make every effort to visit their voting stations during the weekend of the 10 and 11 March 2018.

“We are ready to open all the voting stations this weekend for all voters to easily update their address details on the voters’ roll, and for first-time voters to register. We need voters to show up and make use of the opportunity,” Mamabolo said.

Given the high caller demand to date, the Electoral Commission’s contact centre can be reached by dialling 0800 11 8000 and will be open from 8am to 8pm from today, until Friday, 9 March 2018, and on the weekend from 8am to 5pm both days to assist voters to find their correct voting station and to answer any queries.

The Department of Home Affairs has announced that it will open its offices from 8am to 5pm on 10 and 11 March 2018 to facilitate the collection of green barcoded ID books and smart ID cards and that temporary ID certificates will be issued immediately to applicants.

Voters can enquire about the status of their ID and smart ID cards without physically visiting Home Affairs offices by simply SMSing the word “ID” followed by your ID number to 32551.

Voters can also call the Home Affairs contact centre number on 0800 60 11 90.

The IEC says the online facility is available at https://www.elections.org.za/MyIEC/ remains active for registered voters with access to the internet to check and update or provide their address online, should they be unable to visit their correct voting station this weekend.

Over the past two years, the Electoral Commission has made significant progress in updating addresses on the voter’s roll including:

  • Increasing the proportion of complete addresses from 34% of registered voters in March 2016 to 75% of registered voters currently;
  • Reducing the proportion of incomplete of generic addresses from 34% in March 2016 to 14%; and
  • Reducing the percentage of registered voters without any recorded addresses from 32% to approximately 11%.

 - SAnews.gov.za

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