Voter registration off to a positive start

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The first day of the voter registration started on a positive note with over 73 000 election officials reporting for duty at some 22 600 voting stations around the country to help voters register and update their details on the voters’ roll.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) opened its voting stations this morning to allow new eligible voters to register to vote, and those already registered but have since moved addresses since last election, to reregister in their correct voting district.

Updating the media on the progress of the first day of the registration weekend on Saturday, Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo said that in a handful of isolated areas, a small number of voting stations around the country were unable to open on time, or were forced to close shortly after opening due to a range of incidents.

“The most common of these was due to community protests which used the high profile of the voter registration activities to draw attention to their grievances, and in some instances blockaded staff and voters from reaching the voting stations or conducting registrations,’ said Mamabolo.

Among the affected areas included Katlehong in Gauteng, Ntabankulu in the Eastern Cape, parts of Wonderkop in North West, Tongaat in eThekwini KwaZulu-Natal, Qwaqwa in Free State and Denoon in Western Cape.

Mamabolo said that the provincial election staff is working closely with the community leaders and security forces in all the affected areas to ensure voting stations open as soon as possible, to allow citizens to enjoy their Constitutional right to register as voters.

Other incidents reported included two accidents involving election personnel, who were on their way to open voting stations.

Mamabolo said the staff were hospitalised, one with minor injuries and one with more serious injuries. The commission wished them a speedy recovery.

The weather in most parts of the country was reported to be conducive to high participation and turnout with little rain reported.

The IEC urged all registered voters to use the opportunity of the opening of voting stations or the online facility to check their address details, and for all unregistered eligible voters to visit their voting stations.

Voters visiting their voting stations should take a copy of their bar-coded ID book, smart card ID or temporary ID certificate.

Voting stations are open from 8am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, voters can call 0800 11 800. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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