IEC ‘delighted’ with voter registration numbers

2008-11-12 00:00

KwaZulu-Natal has recorded the highest number of people who registered to vote at the weekend, the Independent Electoral Commission announced yesterday.

Of the 1,6 million new registrations, 451 030 were in the province. Close behind KZN is Gauteng with 369 623. The Eastern Cape had 193 444 new registrations.

“We are proud to say that this was our most successful registration drive since 2000 … The drive has far surpassed our expectations and the IEC is delighted to see the success of the weekend drive to register new voters, especially the youth, who represent a majority of the weekend registration activity at 77,9%,” IEC chairman Dr Brigalia Bam said.

According to the IEC, a total of 105 893 new registration applications were received from people aged between 16 and 17 years, 342 639 applications were received from 18- and 19-year-olds and 835 447 new registration applications were received from people within the 20- to 29-year age bracket.

But the commission said it is concerned that registrations by males remain lower “than demographics indicate it should be”.

A total of 882 536 women applied for registration for the first time, while 765 653 men did so. “It is only in the age bracket 40 to 49 years that male applications (51,18%) exceeded those of women (48,82%).”

IEC provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said registrations went well in the 4 187 voting stations across KZN, but added that minor problems were encountered in some parts.

“All but a few had challenges, where keys were not found, venues were double-booked with weddings, funerals etc., and those that did not open on time. There were 40 that opened late and one that opened on the Sunday only …” Mosery said.

The IEC, however, stressed that those who missed the opportunity to register this weekend can still do so at various IEC municipal offices during normal working hours on weekdays.

“Those who are physically challenged and are unable to get to the IEC municipal offices can write a letter to their IEC municipal office and arrangements will be made to have them registered,” said Mosery.

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