The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has officially announced the dates for the voter registration weekend for the 2019 national and provincial elections.
The country’s 22 932 voting stations are expected to be open on 26 and 27 January to allow new voters to register and existing voters to update their registration details.
The chairperson of the commission, Glen Mashinini, announced the dates at a media briefing held on 7 November in Johannesburg.
According to the commission, there are currently 26,1 million registered voters on the national common voters’ roll.
Mashinini said he hopes that at least one million voters will be added to the voters’ roll ahead of the 2019 general elections. He added, “The electoral commission is also hopeful that voters who are already registered will use the opportunity to visit their voting station to check their registration and specifically to confirm and update their address details.
“This forms part of the ongoing drive to ensure the voters’ roll is ready for the elections in line with the 2016 order of the Constitutional Court. Over the past two years, the electoral commission has added over 13 million addresses to the voters’ roll through a variety of initiatives bringing the total number of voters with addresses on the voters’ roll to 21,4 million in March 2016.”
All South Africa citizens aged 16 and older in possession of an official ID document can register as a voter, however, Mashinini added, only those who are at least 18 years old on voting day may vote.
He said voters should take a copy of their bar-coded ID book, smart card ID or temporary ID certificate when they go to register. When registering, voters will need to provide their address to allow the electoral commission to place them on the correct segment of the voters’ roll, Mashinini added.
Voter registration will also be conducted in January in correctional centres around the country to allow prisoners to exercise their right to vote. Families of those who are incarcerated are requested to deliver their identity documents to them ahead of this registration drive.
Meanwhile, in terms of the Constitution, the term of the current National Assembly and provincial legislatures ends on 6 May 2019 and elections must be held within 90 days thereafter. Mashinini said this means the elections must be held between 7 May and 5 August 2019.
The electoral commission appeals to all stakeholders, including political parties, government departments and entities, the media and civil society organisations (such as labour, business, NGOs, religious-based organisations, traditional leaders and all community organisations), to support the registration drive and encourage voter registration ahead of the elections.
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