Surge in voter registration sets optimistic tone for 2024 elections

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has revealed a promising outlook for the 2024 general elections after a record number of citizens registered to vote.

During a media briefing on Monday, the IEC announced that the current voters’ roll stands at an impressive 26.8-million, a substantial increase from the previous count.

The registration drive unfolded over the weekend at 23 296 voting stations nationwide, where 2.9-million voters engaged with the IEC physically and through the online platform.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo expressed satisfaction with the turnout, especially highlighting the significant contribution of individuals under the age of 29.

“We are quite happy, especially at the fact that a substantial majority of those who came onto the voters’ roll are persons under the age of 29,” Mamabolo said on the sidelines of the media briefing.

Of the total registrations, 2.7-million occurred through physical registration while over 196 000 individuals embraced the convenience of online registration.

Impressively, 52.5% of these registered voters are women, underscoring a trend of increasing female participation in the electoral process.

Mamabolo reassured the public that another registration weekend is in the pipeline to accommodate those who could not register at the weekend.

Gauteng leads the pack

Additionally, the online platform remains accessible around the clock, ensuring that citizens can exercise their democratic rights at their convenience.

“The total registration activity over the two days was 2 904 037,” Mamabolo said.

“Eligible citizens registering for the first time were 568 374, accounting for 19.57% of total registration activity.

“Voters who re-registered in the same voting district numbered 1.4-million, and those who re-registered in a different voting district were 929 564.”

He asserted that Gauteng took the lead with 6.2-million registered voters, reinforcing its status as the most populous and influential voting bloc.

Additionally, the demographic of young voters aged 16 to 29 constitutes 78.31% of the 568 374 new registrants, showcasing the commission’s effective strategies in actively involving the youth in the electoral process.

“The commission’s continued focus on young persons is producing a good yield. The well-entrenched trend of there being more females on the voters’ roll continues.

“Of the new registrations, 298 500, or 52.52%, were female.”

As the voter count approaches the 27-million mark, Mamabolo said the IEC remains optimistic about the inclusivity and diversity of the electorate, setting a positive tone for the 2024 elections.

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