It’s All Systems Go For Voter Registration Weekend

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The Electoral Commission (IEC) says eligible voters, who have not yet registered or updated their address details for the upcoming 2016 Municipal Elections, must make use of the final voter registration weekend.

Briefing media in Centurion, near Pretoria on Wednesday, on preparations and the state of readiness for the final voter registration weekend, the commission’s Chief Electoral Officer, Mosotho Moepya, urged eligible voters to optimise the weekend of 9 and 10 April.

“As always, the Electoral 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.

“To significantly increase the current voters’ roll will require a large number of young first-time voters to register this weekend,” said Moepya.

Statistics show that approximately 80 percent of the eight million eligible voters, who are not currently registered, are younger than 30.

To give an opportunity to first-time voters and those who have not updated their details, Moepya said all 22 617 voting stations will this Saturday and Sunday open their doors between 8am and 5pm.

This year’s elections are scheduled to take place between mid-May and mid-August. Moepya said registration will continue at the Electoral Commission’s local offices until the date of the elections is proclaimed by Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Des van Rooyen.

March registration weekend

“Over three million South African voters visited their voting stations during the March registration weekend to register for the first time, to re-register and to update their registration and address details.

“This included almost 700 000 new voters. It is hoped at least a similar number will register this weekend,” he said.

Update your address details

The Electoral Commission is also making a special plea to all existing registered voters to use this weekend to visit their voting station to update and confirm their address details.

The Constitutional Court found in November last year that a voter’s address or sufficient particularities of their place of residence were essential to ensure that the voter is registered in the correct voting district.
Moepya said existing voters can check whether additional address information is required for them by SMSing their ID number to 32810 (at a cost of R1).

“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,” he said.

He said voters can also check their status by dialling *120*432# or online (www.elections.org.za) or call the Contact Centre on 0800 11 8000 between 7am and 9pm.

Minimising queues

To help speed up the registration process, Moepya said an electronic PDF format of the REC 1 form will be available from tomorrow on www.elections.org.za, which voters can complete online, print a copy and bring it with them to their voting station.

He said voters without formal addresses will be required to complete and sign an affirmation form (REC AS) accompanying the REC 1 form in which they attest to the fact they live in the relevant voting district.

“In municipal elections, voters may only vote where they are registered and voters are reminded that it is a criminal offence to knowingly register in a voting district in which they are not ordinarily resident.

“To find their correct voting station, eligible voters can 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,” said Moepya.

All those visiting a voting station are advised to have a valid South African identity document, either a green bar-coded ID book, a smartcard ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate.

Home Affairs offices open on weekend

Moepya said the Department of Home Affairs will once again open 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.

“Voters will need an ID or a Smart Card ID to vote. The Electoral Commission is appealing to residents of all areas to allow citizens to register unimpeded so that they can exercise their right to vote.

“Since the first registration weekend in March, the Electoral Commission has been engaging with stakeholders in all communities, where voter registration was disrupted previously, to ensure that all eligible voters are given an equal opportunity to participate in the upcoming municipal elections,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

Eric Prinsloo

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