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South Africa fixes date for final round of voter registration ahead of 2024 general polls

Categories Biometrics News  |  Elections  |  ID for All
South Africa fixes date for final round of voter registration ahead of 2024 general polls
 

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (EC) has fixed February 3 and 4, 2024 as date for the final round of voter registration in preparation for general elections in the country same year. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, some registered voters have been grumbling as they have been finding it different to replace their illegible voter ID cards as a presidential election in the vast central African nation nears. In Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy, a former electoral agency chief, has added his voice to an ongoing campaign for the country to build a reliable voter register that will guarantee the organization of credible and acceptable elections in the future.

Last-round voter registration in South Africa in two months

According to the EC, 23, 296 voter registration centers will be open to attend to citizens who seek to enroll on the voter register’s list for the first time, as well as registered persons who want to correct their details, Daily Star reports.

The last voter registration window was on November 18 and 19 and the EC reported an impressive turnout with over 568,000 new registrants, thanks partly to a campaign that aimed at ramping up ID card and passport collection by potential registrants.

The new figures bring the total number of names on the voter’s roll to 26.8 million voters.

The EC has also been harping on the importance of registering to vote, and has called on South Africans who have attained the age of 16 to do so, with either their national ID, smartcard ID or provisional ID certificates as the enrollment requirement.

Meanwhile, the EC also recently announced that South Africans living abroad are now able to enroll their names on the voter’s register on a dedicated portal. The dates for diaspora registrations are January 26, 27, and 28, 2024.

DR Congo voters unable to replace faded voter IDs

Citizens of this Central African nation of over 100 million people will go to the polls on December 20 to elect a new president, but many of them are unsure if they’ll be able to cast their ballots.

This is partly because many of them who have registered to vote are said to be finding it difficult getting new voter’s IDs, per a report by ENCA.

Many of the voter IDs to be replaced are illegible, the report notes, and those who end up not getting new cards are likely not to vote since the country doesn’t have national ID cards which could act as proof of identity. Earlier this year, there were reports of a tussle for the country’s new generation national ID card contract.

In the past weeks, citizens are said to have been queuing up in the capital Kinshasa and in other towns and cities to replace faded cards without success.

This is one of the many problems the country is reportedly confronted with as it prepares for a presidential election that has incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi and 19 others as candidates.

Calls for credible voter registry in Nigeria

A former Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has insisted that only a cleaned-up voter’s register can provide the basis for credible election outcomes in Nigeria. Jega was speaking last month during an event organized by Yiaga Africa, a civil society outfit clamouring for electoral probity in Nigeria.

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