Xsê, are you ready to vote in the 2019 Elections?

2019-01-23 11:17
Source: iStock

Source: iStock

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South Africans go to the polls for the country’s sixth National and Provincial Elections in 2019. To encourage South Africa’s youth to register and vote in the upcoming elections, the Electoral Commission has launched an innovative communication and education campaign.

“The young people of South Africa comprise an increasingly powerful and crucial segment of our economy, our culture, our democracy and our country. But until they register and vote they are unable exercise their right to participate in choosing the future of our country,” says Electoral Commission Chairperson Mr Glen Mashinini.

The campaign features young South Africans from all walks of life expressing their reasons for the importance of voting in the upcoming elections under a newly-created word: Xsê.

“We zoned in on a phrase that is uniquely South African. It’s cool and can be used easily by anyone across the culture lines. It’s a call to action phrase, one that prompts you to take notice and take action,” explained Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo.

“Xsê is a multi-culturally understood colloquial South African term that can be used in many situations, especially when one wants to be heard. Elections allow for an individual’s voice to be heard hence we made it for the individual to own.

Moreover, it’s a clever play on the ‘X’ that voters put on the ballot paper and which has featured in previous election campaigns. We hope Xsê becomes part of the lexicon of South African youth during these elections.”

The Electoral Commission Contact Centre has also been re-activated and is operational weekdays from 8am to 5pm. It provides assistance to callers in all official languages on 0800 11 8000 and is also available to respond to queries submitted via email and the IEC’s Twitter account and Facebook page.

The focus of the campaign is to promote registration during the upcoming final voter registration weekend being held on 26 – 27 January 2019 when the country’s 22 927 voting stations will open from 08h00 to 17h00 to allow new voters to register and existing voters to update and to check their registration details.

There are currently 26.1 million registered voters on the national common voters’ roll and Mr Mashinini has said it is his hope that at least one million more voters will be added to the voters’ roll ahead of the 2019 elections.

A key aspect of the campaign will also be to encourage already registered voters to also use the opportunity of the registration weekend or the online facility at www.elections.org.za/MyIEC to check and update their address details.

In November last year the Constitutional Court granted an application by the Electoral Commission for an extension to the deadline until November 2019 to update the voters’ roll with all addresses.

This has allowed the Electoral Commission to utilise the registration weekend and election day itself to collect outstanding addresses before allowing voters to vote.

Voter registration for South Africans living abroad is also taking place between 1 – 4 February 2019 at South Africa’s 120 foreign missions. Registration will take place during office hours at South Africa’s high commissions, embassies and consulates worldwide.

A full list of South Africa’s missions is available on the website of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at http://www.dirco.gov.za/webmissions/index.html.

Registration of inmates is also planned for 22 -23 January at correctional facilities around the country.

All South Africa citizens aged 16 and older in possession of an official identity document (ID) can register as voters – although only those who are at least 18 years old on voting day may vote.

Voters should take their barcoded ID book, smart ID card or temporary ID certificate when they go to register in the voting district in which they ordinarily reside.

When registering, voters will need to provide their address or a description of where they live to allow the Electoral Commission to place them on the correct segment of the voters’ roll. However, documentation or proof of address is not required.

Currently the lowest voter registration levels are for voters aged 18 – 19 (15.6% of estimated eligible population) and 20 – 29 (56.7% of estimated eligible population).

Registered voters can visit the Electoral Commission website (www.elections.org.za) to check their current registration details and voting station location. They can also SMS their ID number to 32810 to receive an SMS containing the address of their current voting station (charged at R1 per SMS).

Unregistered voters can insert their address in the Voting Station Finder application on the website (http://maps.elections.org.za/vsfinder/) to find their correct voting station or call the Contact Centre.

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. This means the elections must be held between 7 May and 5 August 2019.

The President recently indicated his intention to proclaim elections before the end of May, but is expected to announce the exact date sometime in the near future.

 

THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION – Ensuring free and fair elections

www.elections.org.za         | 0800 11 8000    |info@elections.org.za

Facebook: www.facebook.com/IECSouthAfrica

Twitter: @IECSouthAfrica

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/IECSouthAfrica

Join the conversation: #SAElections2019 #Xsê2019

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