Electoral commission granted more time to finalise voters’ addresses

The matter has its genesis in the long-running dispute concerning the registration process in the Tlokwe local municipality, where a number of unsuccessful candidates challenged the outcome of by-elections because the voters’ roll was incorrect and unreliable.

There were complaints that many out-of-district voters were bused in.

In its judgment in 2015, the court declared that when registering a voter to vote in a particular district, the commission was obliged to obtain sufficient particularity of the voter’s address to ensure that the voter was ordinarily resident in that voting district.

However, in February 2016, in another by-election in Tlokwe, independent candidates discovered that the voters’ roll had omitted the physical addresses of thousands of voters, prompting the 2016 judgment by the Constitutional Court.

In its June 2016 judgment, the court also ordered the commission to file six-monthly reports on its progress in obtaining addresses.

In its judgment on Thursday, the majority of the court said the commission had shown dramatic gains in recording the addresses of voters in its first report.

“Since March 2016, the percentage of registered voters with complete addresses had more than doubled. From 34%, the proportion had grown to no less than 72%.”

However, in its second report, the commission recorded minimal progress and explained there had been no general voter-harvesting weekend between January and June 2017.

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