IEC laments protests interrupting voter registration process

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The Electoral Commission’s Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Masego Sheburi has lamented protests that have interrupted the voter registration process at some voting stations.

There have been reports of some disgruntled communities blocking the registration stations around the country.

However, Sheburi says these acts interfere with the rights of voters who would like to register or update their registration details.

He was giving an update on the progress of this weekend’s voter registration campaign at the IEC’s headquarters in Centurion.

“It is regrettable that in some communities, there is still the practice of linking genuine concerns by communities to the electoral process in a way, in a way that disrupts and interferes with the rights of other citizens who may be inclined to go update their registration details or to register. We are aware of those cases. We are working with community leaders, with security structures to ensure that even in those isolated instances, people who want to register are still able to do so without let or hindrance.”

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By Midday on Day 1 (one) of voter registration weekend, just over 300 000 voters signed up to have their voice heard.

The IEC says it is encouraged by the turnout of South Africans during voter registration weekend calling it a “testament to the strength of our democracy.”

“In the initial hours of this two-day registration weekend 326 000 voters had visited their voting stations and had their applications processed using the voter management device. This sets a good tool for the two days of voter registration,” says Sheburi.

The online voter poll however, only had 26 000 voters by midday – much less than the physical stations.

The IEC has encouraged all citizens to participate in shaping the country’s future as the first leg of voter registration ahead of 2024 concludes on Sunday.  – Additional reporting Canny Maphanga

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