Democracy


Voters' roll grows to 23-million

11 February 2009

The Independent Electoral Commission has announced that there are over 23-million South Africans registered to vote in the national and provincial elections provisionally set for 22 April.

"I am pleased to announce that the final registration weekend has led to a 3.16-million increase in the number of registered voters," IEC chairperson Brigalia Bam said in Pretoria on Tuesday.

"I am proud to announce that the voters' roll as of today contains the names of just over 23-million voters."

Higher than expected turnout

The new registrations follows a voter registration drive on the weekend, which saw a higher than expected number of South Africans visiting some 19 000 voting stations across the country.

"We had 3 378 969 visits, which is only slightly lower than the 3 694 656 visits we had during the registration weekend in November last year," Bam said.

There were 18.1-million people listed on the voters' roll ahead of South Africa's 1999 general elections and 20.6-million people listed ahead of the 2004 general elections, with the IEC initially setting a target of growing the list to 22-million ahead of the upcoming general elections.

Younger voters registering

A total of 1 508 642 new registrations were recorded over the past weekend, of which 78.3% were from South Africans younger than 30 years of age. A further 1 653 216 voters corrected their details or re-registered in a new voting district, while a total of 217 111 people registered in the same voting district in which they were previously registered.

Bam said the process was indicative of a successful information campaign by the IEC through the press, bill boards and posters. The IEC had also employed democracy education workers to engage the public and promote registration among eligible voters.

"It would be true to say that the vibrancy of the party political scene at the moment also contributed to the outstanding enthusiasm of the public to get them correctly registered as voters for the upcoming elections.

"All this bodes will for a high turnout at the elections, and that will be good for democracy in our country," she said, adding that the voters' roll would now be in good shape for the elections, provisionally set for 22 April this year.

Registration continuing

Bam thanked all IEC staff members for their dedication, political parties for their active promotion of registration, and members of the public for their enthusiasm that resulted in such a positive turnout.

The registration of voters is still continuing at respective municipal electoral offices until the proclamation of the official election date by Kgalema Motlanthe, after which the voters' roll will be closed to further entries.

Potential voters or registered voters who need information on where to register or who want to check their registration details can call the IEC call centre toll-free on 0800 11 8000, or SMS their ID number to 32810.

Source: BuaNews

South Africans line up to vote

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