Voter registration weekend going well

Saturday, April 9, 2016
By: 
More Matshediso

Pretoria - Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) Chief Electoral Officer, Mosotho Moepya, says the vast majority of the South Africa’s 22 617 voting stations opened on time at 8am on the first day of the final voter registration weekend.

Briefing the media in Centurion on Saturday, Moepya said the day started with a steady stream of voters who visited voting stations to register and update their registration and address details.

“Fewer than 40 voting stations (0.17 percent) had not opened earlier today due to a range of factors including logistic challenges such as keys to venues not being available, double booking of a venue, delays in staff arrivals and two vehicle accidents reported,” said Moepya.

He said the commission is hoping as many new voters as possible will join the existing 25.6 million registered voters to boost the voters’ roll above its current level of about 75 percent of the eligible voting population.

A large number of young first-time voters are required to register to vote to significantly increase the current voters roll.

Approximately 80 percent of the eight million eligible voters who are not currently registered are younger than 30.

“To help boost registration by first-time voters, Facebook at 12pm today launched its first-ever voter registration campaign in Africa in partnership with the Electoral Commission, which saw the deployment of a special voter registration message to all Facebook users aged over 18 years old and a button which voters can share with friends to show they have registered.

“In addition, the Electoral Commission sent out over 2.5 million SMS messages to eligible voters aged 18 to 25 yesterday reminding them of the final registration weekend,” he said.

The commission has during the week issued over five million SMSes to registered voters for whom no address details are currently available.

Moepya urged existing voters to check whether additional address information is required for them by SMSing their ID number to 32810.

“They will receive an SMS back with the name of the voting station where they are currently registered.

“Voters for whom incomplete address details are currently captured will receive a second SMS urging them to visit their voting station to update their details. By lunchtime today the SMS line had received over 60 000 hits,” he said.

Voters can also check their status by dialing *120*432# or on www.elections.org.za or call the contact centre on 0800 11 8000 between 7am and 9pm.

Moepya said isolated instances of protest action were reported in Paarl in the Western Cape, Ntabankulu and Umtata in the Eastern Cape and four voting stations in Kwazulu-Natal in Ladysmith, Umfolozi and Escourt.

“The Electoral Commission is engaging with key stakeholders in all these areas including community leaders, political parties, residents and security forces, this in an effort to allow registration to proceed as soon as possible.”

To find your correct voting station, call the contact centre on 0800 11 8000 between 7am and 9pm, dial *120*432#, or use the voting station finder app on www.elections.org.za

“All those visiting a voting station should have with them a valid South African identity document, either a green bar-coded ID book, a smartcard ID or a valid Temporary Identification Certificate,” he said.

The Department of Home Affairs is once again opening its offices between 8am and 5pm over the weekend to allow citizens to collect their IDs or to obtain temporary ID certificates in order to register. - SAnews.gov.za

 

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