More voting stations for 2014 - IEC

2013-10-09 20:12
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Next year's elections will have 22 264 voting stations compared to the 20 859 in 2011, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Wednesday.

"[The IEC] has worked hard to increase its voting station network by 9.4% as compared to the 2011 local government elections," chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya said in Midrand.

This was in line with the settlement development patterns across the country.

Moepya was speaking at the IEC's media launch for the 2014 national elections. Next year, the country will celebrate 20 years of democracy.

The official logo, with the slogan "I vote South Africa", was also launched.

IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula announced that registration for next year's election would take place on 9 and 10 November.

"All our voting stations in the country will be open for the purposes of voter registration from 08:00 to 17:00," she said.

"The commission invites all eligible citizens who are not yet registered as voters to use this opportunity to join the millions of South Africans who are already on the national voters' roll."

Moepya said the number of people on the voters' roll had risen by 21.3% since it was first compiled in 1998.

"The South African voters' roll remains a fundamental contributor to the credibility of the country's elections.

"It is regularly updated against the national population register [at least once a month]."

The IEC had also maintained audit trails of all voters since the first voters' roll.

Registration gap

Moepya said the IEC had consistently attained registration of 80% of the voting age population.

Following the release of the 2011 census, the IEC had established a potential registration gap of about 8.3 million.

"This census data places our current registered voting age population at 73.6%.

"In keeping with our trend of maintaining the voting age population in the 80% region, it is clear that our registration efforts will be targeting 2 006 229 new registered voters," he said.

The greatest registration gap was in the age categories of 18 to 19 and 20 to 29. The current registrations stood at 8.4% and 49.4% respectively.

Moepya said from the IEC's analysis of the registration gap it was clear that its communication campaign needed to be more "youthful, fun and engaging". This would be done without alienating other age groups.

Young people urged to register

Tlakula urged young people, especially those who would be voting for the first time, to register.

She said the youth belonged to a special generation - the first to be born in a democratic country.

"Democracy and freedom came at a great price and cannot be taken for granted.

"We should therefore treasure and use the opportunity to exercise this right," Tlakula said.

She said although a date for the elections had not yet been proclaimed, the IEC planned to be ready at the earliest possible date within the legislative framework.

The DA said it was pleased that the IEC preparations for next year's elections were on track.

It urged all unregistered South Africans of voting age to register to vote during the IEC’s registration weekend, DA MP James Selfe said in a statement.

"We also urge all registered voters to ensure they are registered in the province where they live if they have moved since the previous election."

Read more on:    da  |  iec  |  pansy tlakula  |  johannesburg  |  elections 2014

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