South African voters urged to update the roll

Lynn Furman, a Ward 73 resident in the Johannesburg north-east suburbs, casts her vote during the 2017 by-elections in Houghton.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) urges all South Africa’s eligible voters to visit their voting stations on 10 and 11 March to update the voters’ roll in preparation for the 2019 elections.

The preparations form part of the commission’s launched national campaign earmarked to ensure free and fair general elections.

The commission has revealed on 6 February that it still does not, as yet, have addresses for the 2,8 million voters and a further 3,5 million addresses that are currently classified as ‘incomplete’ or ‘generic’.

Even though the commission launched an online facility in October last year for registered voters with internet access to review or provide their address, they still have the challenge to meet the required number.

The Constitutional Court gave the IEC until June this year to update the voters’ roll with all available addresses, according to the chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, but the numbers are still daunting.

The voters’ roll is the bedrock of electoral integrity, Mamabolo said thus it is important to register adding that its quality is the foundation for credible, free and fair elections.

The requisite quality of the voters’ roll is dependent on the support and participation of voters and all stakeholders, he said.

“The voters’ roll is a national asset. It requires constant maintenance, constant updating, constant checking to retain its currency and its quality.

“We call upon all people in South Africa as individuals, political parties, civic organisations, non-government organisations, activists, the media, traditional leaders and faith-based organisations to ensure the success of the weekend.”

There are about 22 612 voting stations in the country and the commission has confirmed that all of them will be open to the public.

Mamabolo also encourages all new and first-time voters, aged 16 years and older, in possession of an official ID to register on that weekend.

“If you are active on social media tell your followers about the importance of having an accurate and up-to-date voters’ roll.

“Urge them to check their registration details on the voters’ roll on 10 and 11 March 2018.”

Details: www.elections.org.za or 080 011 8000.

Read: Gauteng Provincial police officers among the 1 900 suspects arrested

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