Possible poll dates announced
THE 2019 elections will take placeon May 8, 15, 22, or 29, while thefinal voter registration weekend willtake place at the end of January,the IEC has announced.
Electoral Commission of SouthAfrica (IEC) chairperson Glen Mashininimade the announcement at apress briefing in Centurion yesterday.
He said the commission hadmet with President Cyril Ramaphosain August, and he had said thathe wanted the elections to takeplace before the end of May. Bylaw, the elections need to takeplace by August 2019.
Ramaphosa is expected to proclaimthe election date in February,Mashinini said.
In March, the IEC will receivecandidate nominations from politicalparties, and all the parties willsign the electoral code of conduct.
The final voter registration weekendbefore the elections meanwhilewill be on January 26 and 27, IECchief electoral officer Sy Mamabolosaid.
Mamabolo said the voter registrationweekend was to allow newvoters to register, and for those alreadyon the voters’ roll to changetheir details if they needed to.
Voters will have to provide theiraddress or a description of wherethey live, but documented proof ofaddress is not required, he said.
The IEC is also putting in placeplans for South Africans living outsidethe country to register to voteat embassies, high commissionsand consulates abroad.
The date for the internationalregistration weekend will be announcedsoon, and is likely to takeplace just before or after theSouth African registration weekend,Mamabolo said.
Voter registration will also takeplace in prisons.
Mamabolo said that prisonerswere regarded as being registeredto vote in the voting districtswhere they were incarcerated.
Family members of prisonerswould need to give their IDs tothem before the election drive.
The IEC also raised concernsabout the low number of youngand first-time voters on the voters’roll. Mamabolo said the IEC willlaunch a national communicationand education campaign. “A keythrust will be encouraging firsttimevoters to register.”
Mamabolo said that just about15,6% of the voting age populationare voters aged 18 and 19.
While the majority of peoplewho registered in the last threeelections were between the age of19 and 29, this was coming off ofa low base.