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IEC heads to ConCourt over voters with no residential address

The commission says it needs clarity on registering voters who do not have formal residential addresses.

Many people around the country took selfies of their thumps after casting their votes on 7 May 2014. Picture: Amanda Moore/EWN.
IEC,Tlokwe Municipality,Tlokwe by elections
Local Elections

JOHANNESBURG – The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it wants the Constitutional Court to clearly outline the scope of its responsibilities when registering the addresses of voters.

The commission will be heading to court to appeal the postponement of by-elections in Tlokwe in the North West, after the Electoral Court found it had insufficiently registered some voters' addresses. 

But the commission says two thirds of eligible voters don’t have formal residential addresses and is seeking clarity on how to properly register these people.   

The IEC says it wants to understand from the Constitutional Court whether voters who are registered without addresses must be removed from the voters roll.

Chairperson Glen Mashinini says such an action would be an infringement of people’s rights.

“Disenfranchisement of a voter on the basis of a lack of a formal address would be unacceptable in a country where there are millions of people who live in informal settlements.”

The commission says it wants to know whether its current methods, including the use of landmarks as addresses, are sufficient for the compilation of a voters roll.

If not, it wants the terms of its responsibilities to be clearly communicated by the Constitutional Court.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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