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Voter registration in South Africa

2 weekends ago, I decided to take the oppurtunity to go and register to be able to vote in next year’s general election in South Africa. For the first time, I felt that voting was my voice, and that next year, I wanted it to be heard. I also wanted an official right to complain and express frustration at the government, since voting gives you that ability. You can’t complain if you didn’t vote.

The procedure was very simple. I just went to the station assigned to our area with my barcoded ID, and let the person there fill out a quick form. Just like that I was added to the voters roll. They scanned some barcodes, and placed a sticker into my ID book. The whole procedure took about 5 minutes. I was a new member on the voting roll, hence the need to register.

I was eligible to vote in our country’s last election in 2004, but I chose not to. At that stage, I didn’t understand nor care for politics. The ANC was firmly in charge and nothing was going to change that. This time around however, they are under immense pressure, and their victory is no longer absolutely guaranteed. I encouraged all my friends to make the effort too, and it seems a fair number did.

From what I understand, voter registration turn out was very successful, especially amongst the youth. Next year’s election is going to turn up some interesting results for sure.

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