Sunday, October 25, 2020

IEC braces for sharp drop in youth voter registration

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is bracing for a sharp decline in the number of youths registering for election because of expired O’ Mang identity cards.

IEC Executive Secretary Gabriel Seeletso told the Kgatleng full council meeting Friday that although registration for next year’s general elections runs from the 4th to the 27th October, records show that some 8680 electorates in the Kgatleng District have expired Omang cards, and no applications have been made to renew them.

Seeletso says this means they would not be able to register in the first registration exercise. A further 2979 Omang cards are due to expire between 5th June and 3rd December 2013. Though the renewal of cards can be done 11 months before the actual expiry date, efforts have not been made to renew those bound to expire.

“Given that Kgatleng East consists of 64 per cent youth who also make majority of those whose cards are still to be renewed, I have fear that if you do not as politicians motivate your electorates to check and renew cards to register for elections, then we might end up with a situation where there would be no electorates for legislator in the general elections,” said Seeletso.

He said they expect a total of 1.4 million people to register and vote for the coming election. Most of these are expected to register during the on-going registration. Those who miss registering will register in the supplementary registration scheduled for an undisclosed dates in March 2014.

The date for elections he said is hoped to be next year in October, therefore those who might have turned 18 after March will be given the opportunity to register in a final supplementary registration scheduled for August 2014.

Seeletso further explained that the Registration Officers hired for the current registration were recruited from the streets (unemployed).

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