IEC launches online voter registration platform

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PHOTO: IEC South Africa

The IEC has introduced a 24/7 online system to boost voter registration during the Covid-19 pandemic, ahead of the local government elections scheduled for October 27.

Pretoria Rekord reports, this follows the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) rescheduling its planned voter registration weekend from 17-18 July to 31 July-1 August, due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in SA.

“The IEC hopes that providing an online facility where voters could register, check and update their registration details without having to visit an IEC office or a voting station would minimise congestion and maximum registration,” said spokesperson Kate Bapela.

The online voter registration was launched on Thursday, July 15.

It allows for new voters to register and existing voters to amend their registration from the comfort of their own homes using an internet connection.

Bapela said the new online voter registration facility had been in development for a number of years.

“The first phase was the introduction of an online service known as ‘Click, Check, Confirm’ ahead of the 2019 national and provincial elections, through which existing voters could check and amend their registration,” she said.

Bapela said data showed that more than 350 000 voters had used the first phase system since its introduction.

She said the newly launched system (part of the second phase) used a number of security checks to ensure the integrity of the voters roll.

She said these checks included the use of a one-time-pin (OTP) verification and the submission of a scan or photograph of the voter’s ID document.

“The electoral commission believes the online facility will be a game-changer in promoting voter registration, especially among young and first-time voters.”

Eligible voters can register following these steps:

– Go to registertovote.elections.org.za

– Click “Register to Vote Now”.

– Enter your personal details.

– Enter the OTP sent to your cellphone.

– Search for your address, or if you are at home, use the current location on your device.

– Take a photo of your ID or submit a scan of your ID.

– You will receive an SMS within 24 hours confirming your successful registration.

Bapela said users who created profiles on the “Click, Check, Confirm” platform can use the same login details to access the system.

She said the public had to note that they had to register in the ward in which they ordinarily resided.

“Voters are reminded that it is an offence to provide false information.

“In a local government elections, voters may only vote in the voting district in which they are registered. There is no latitude to vote at any other voting station,” she emphasised.

Bapela said agents at the IEC contact centre can also assist voters with the online facility.

The contact centre is open weekdays from 08:00 to 17:00 on 0800 11 8000 in all languages.

Pretoria Rekord/Reitumetse Mahope