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Politics

Voters roll shrinks, tiny number of new registrations on weekend says analyst

20 September 2021 1:58 PM
Tags:
Voter registration
SA Voter Registration Weekend
political analysis
Dawie Scholtz

Mandy Wiener speaks to independent elections analyst Dawie Scholtz who says it is the lowest voter registration he has seen in SA.
  • This past Voter Registration weekend was the lowest ever seen in SA says independent analyst Dawie Scholtz
  • Only 325,000 of the 1.3 million registrations were from new voters which is a much smaller number than usual, he notes

Picture: Cindy Archillies/Eyewitness News

How did this past weekend's voter registration that took place on Saturday and Sunday fare?

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has stated it surpassed its target, reports Mandy, registering some 1.3 million people over the weekend for the upcoming local government elections, with one-quarter being new additions to the voters' roll.

325,000 new additions to the voters' roll tweeted Dawie Scholtz, adding that this means the roll has in fact shrunk by 750,000 voters since 2019.

What do the numbers tell us and where to from here Mandy Wiener asks Scholtz?

It's the lowest voter registration I have ever seen ever, watching South African politics, this weekend.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

It is an incredibly low number, and I am surprised to hear the IEC say they surpassed their target.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

We now usually roughly about a million or more new people register on these weekends so 325,000 is a very low number. That suggests to me that not a lot of new people went to register.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

Obviously, the IEC is quoting this number of 1.3 million going to register, but that includes everyone who is just changing their address.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

Ensuring your new address is updated is not adding to the roll, he explains.

We know going into the weekend that the roll was down by 1.1 million people due to natural attrition since the last election. They have only added 300,000. This is the first time ever that I think it has actually gone down.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

What may be the reason for this, asks Mandy? Is it Covid, voter apathy, or perhaps not knowing who to vote for?

Scholtz believes it is a number of factors.

First and foremost the country's largest party the ANC has not really had a major registration campaign at all,

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

He says the ANC is usually effective at bringing turnouts to these registration weekends and in this instance did not deliver.

The other reason is the pandemic where some people may feel uncomfortable going. We know there was the online portal as well, but historically South Africans have gone to stations to do this so the mass shift online will take a while.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

Also, turnout has been going down in our elections systematically for the last ten years.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

A lot of people say they don't like any of the parties very much.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst

These weekends in the past have been a good indicator of voter engagement in the election.

Dawie Scholtz, Independent election analyst



20 September 2021 1:58 PM
Tags:
Voter registration
SA Voter Registration Weekend
political analysis
Dawie Scholtz

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