IEC back in Constitutional Court seeking extension to collect voter addresses

According to notes issued by the court on Tuesday‚ it has already granted the IEC an interim extension to November 30 this year to complete the process — but the IEC is asking for more time and wants an extension to November 29 next year.

This date will fall after the 2019 national and provincial election.

The court’s notes state that‚ at the time of the 2016 case‚ the IEC had on record only 34% of voters’ addresses. By December 2016‚ the commission reported that it had captured the complete addresses of 72% of registered voters‚ but that subsequent reports “showed that there has been little progress since”.

The notes continue that‚ according to the IEC‚ the postponement of the deadline would not adversely affect the validity of the 2019 elections.

The matter originates after the Electoral Court in 2016 ordered the IEC to postpone by-elections in Tlokwe in the North West because opposition parties successfully argued that the commission was compelled to provide addresses for everyone on the voters’ roll.

Opposition parties approached the court following allegations that the ANC had manipulated the roll‚ with some voters casting their ballots in wards where they were not registered to vote.

The IEC took the decision on review to the Constitutional Court‚ questioning whether the lack of addresses served to invalidate the entire voters’ roll.

The court previously said the IEC not compiling the addresses was inconsistent with the constitution’s values of accountability‚ responsiveness and openness.

The IEC wants the latest extension to collect all the addresses and to stop parties from challenging the fairness of next year’s elections on the grounds that not all addresses were collected.


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