/ 25 November 2013

IEC plans round two for voter registration

Children play with IEC boards in Soweto.
Children play with IEC boards in Soweto.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Monday that a second chance for voters to register will be held in February 2014.

"Encouraged by the continued interest in eligible voters who are not yet registered … the commission confirmed its plan to open all voting stations for registration on February 8 and 9 2014," it said in a statement.

"The February registration weekend will be the final opportunity for new voters to register and for registered voters to change their voting station ahead of the 2014 national and provincial elections."

The IEC said President Jacob Zuma was expected to announce the election date shortly after the second registration weekend.

There are currently 24 112 414 registered voters.

The IEC said it was hoping to reach 80% registration. A registration weekend was held on November 9 and 10 in which just over one million new voters were added to the voters' roll.

The IEC has been particularly concerned with getting first-time "born free" voters to register, and launched an elections drive on October 8, specifically focusing on this demographic.

The generation of new voters are considered important to new parties such as the Economic Freedom Fighters and Agang SA, while the ruling ANC and official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, are also gunning for their vote.

According to the IEC, eligible voters under 20 make up 2.96% of the population but only 0.8% of registered voters. Therefore the IEC has its work cut out to bring in that crucial vote at a vital time. – Sapa