Tuesday, March 24, 2009

29 more days till the country goes to the poll

All set: The IEC's Courtney Sampson (left) and Granville Abrahams (right) address the media.

By Mishkah Anthony and Mikhaila Crowie
24 March 2009

As the 2009 General Election is fast approaching with only 29 days to go to South Africa’s 4th democratic elections, the Independent Electoral Commission has been working around the clock to make this year’s election run more smoothly.

The IEC today held a media workshop to brief the media on the IEC readiness for this year’s election.

Granville Abrahams, Administrative Director for the IEC in the Western Cape, presented the media with statistics from South Africa’s previous democratic elections.

In our first democratic election, the IEC saw an 85.8% voter turnout and this year, the IEC recorded the highest number of voter registrations to date, with 23 181 997 voters registering of which 2. 6 million were from the Western Cape.

Abrahams referred this year’s elections to that of “eating an elephant” and the IEC is “eating it piece by piece” rather than the first democratic election, where the excitement was so high, “we bit off chunks”.

This year, the IEC will have more than 19 000 voting stations across the country with over 202 000 staff members ensuring free and fair election.

The IEC noted that their may be challenges ahead but Courtney Sampson, Provincial Electoral Officer of the Western Cape, said they are vigorously stamping out irregularities on election day and says any corruption will be dealt with, that could potentially threaten a democratic election.

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