Voters urged to actively participate in local government elections

Image: GCIS

Local government elections will take place on October 27.

Professor Jaap de Visser from the University of the Western Cape’s Dullah Omar Institute has called on voters to actively participate in the upcoming local government elections.

The country goes to the polls on October 27. Some opposition parties had asked for the elections to be postponed to next year amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

De Visser took part in a discussion on the elections, organised by civil rights organisation Corruption Watch. It looked at the role of local government and what communities can do to hold officials to account.

IEC to soon embark on voter registration campaign

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) says it will soon embark on a national voter registration campaign to encourage participation in the Local Government Elections.

The polls will see the introduction of the new management voting devices which will replace the old Zip-Zip scanners.

The system is dubbed a game-changer within the commission’s registration framework.

In the 2019 national elections, there were allegations of voters who were able to cast more than one vote at the polls. Officials say the new online system will ensure that such incidents do not occur.

It will allow them to capture voters’ addresses and verify them against their respective wards.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo says, “It’s an important development within our registration framework. The voter management devices will do a number of business processes in one transaction, Firstly, we will scan the ID and take the names of the voter. We will also capture the address at the point of interaction. On election day, the voter management device will be operating online to check if the person has voted elsewhere, and it will minimise the allegations of people having voted twice in the election. It’s an innovation that will increase the integrity of the process.”

The IEC’s Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Mawethu Mosery, says all necessary preparations are being made to ensure that COVID-19 health protocols are adhered to.

“It is possible to embark on the campaign of voter registration with financial constraints. We will have a weekend – a full two days of registrations, but prior to that weekend, we will be sharing with you some of the new developments such as a digital platform due to be launched soon. We are also encouraging the visiting of our offices with all COVID-19 protocols in place for purposes of registration.”

The video below is on the IEC embarking on national voter registration: 

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