IEC launches online portal allowing voters to change addresses

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Registered South African voters no longer need to go to an IEC office or voting station during voter registration to change their residential address, but can now do so in the comfort of their homes.

The IEC has launched its online address campaign which will assist it in meeting the 30 June 2018 target to capture addresses of all registered voters. This is in run-up to the 2019 national general elections.

MyIEC online lets you update your address manually or using the internet to pinpoint your location. Previously, voters had to got to the IEC offices or wait for the voter registration period to do this.

It’s important to update your physical address because you’re only allowed to vote in the voting station nearest to your location. Should you move and not update your address, you’ll be forced to vote in your old voting station.

“The My IEC platform is secure, easy to use and providing your address will only take a few minutes,” said  Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo.

Voters will also need to sign a declaration included on their profile as acknowledgement that their details are accurate. If information provided is found to be false the Commission would take the necessary steps against the voter.

IEC Vice Chairperson Terry Tselane allayed fears of cybersecurity interfering with the efforts of collating information commission of voters.

“Even though we are confident with our systems, what we normally do ahead of every election, we get all our political parties to check with their IT experts to check vulnerabilities. The process helps us close all the loopholes that are in the system,” Tselane said.

Data costs to be reduced for the process

To assist those who may not be able to afford data, the IEC said it has has engaged mobile service providers to assist in reducing costs.

“We had a meeting with the service providers where we spoke on the issue of zero rating, which entails that data costs are reduced or users pay a certain amount of the cost. I must say mobile service providers are open to engagement. The engagement was quite positive,” said Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Nomsa Masuku.

For those with no internet access at all, the IEC is engaging National Treasury to assist with funding for more initiatives with the hopes of running an opening voters’ weekend which allows voters a chance to check and provide their addresses face-to-face.

“So far the Treasury has made a R180 million available to us which will assist us in carrying through our initiatives,” said Mamabolo.

The online campaign will be supported by a comprehensive communication campaign to explain and promote the facility via various media including television radio, print and online.