Electoral Commission sending over 5 million SMSes to registered voters without addresses

The Electoral Commission today began sending text messages (SMS) to approximately 5.3 million registered voters for whom no address details are currently available on the voters’ roll as part efforts to update and enhance the voters’ roll ahead of 2016 Municipal Elections.

The initiative follows the Constitutional Court ruling in November last year in the Tlokwe matter that a voter’s address or sufficient particularities of their place of residence were essential to ensure that the voter is registered in the correct voting district.

The SMS messages inform these voters that no address is currently available for them in the Electoral Commission’s records and urges them to visit their voting station this weekend to update their address details. In line with best marketing practice, the SMS allows voters to “opt out” of receiving further SMS communications from the Electoral Commission.

The wording of the bulk SMS (which is limited to 160 characters) is:
Dear voter, the IEC does not have an address for you. Pls visit your voting station 8am – 5pm on 9/10 April to update your details. Reply STOP to opt out. Rgds IEC

Records show following the last registration weekend, there are approximately 6.92 million voters currently on the voters’ roll without any address details. This is down from approximately 8 million ahead of the March registration weekend.

The Electoral Commission was only able to source cellphone numbers for 5.3 million of the 6.92 million voters for whom we do not have addresses. Efforts to reach the remaining 1.6 million voters include: 
• Radio adverts are being broadcast urging all voters to use this weekend to check their registration and address details at their voting station
• The various facilities available to voters to check their registration status have been enhanced to advise voters whether the Electoral Commission has sufficient address details for them. 

These include:
o Online via the Voting Station Finder App at www.elections.org.za)
o Via USSD by dial *120*432#
o SMSing their ID number to 32810 (Cost R1)
o Through the Contact Centre on 0800 11 8000 

Additional REC 1 registrations have been printed and distributed to voting stations in anticipation of the higher demand and additional registration staff have also been deployed to manage higher volumes.

An electronic copy of the REC 1 form has also been posted on the IEC website which voters can complete on computer, print and take with them to their voting station. This will speed up the registration process and enhance accuracy.

Voting stations are open on Saturday 9 April and Sunday 10 April from 8am to 5pm.

Ensuring free and fair elections 

7 April 2016

For media queries: Please contact Kate Bapela on 082 600 6386
For media interviews: Please email requests to spokesperson@elections.org.za

You can also find the IEC on -
•   Facebook: www.facebook.com/IECSouthAfrica
•   Twitter:@IECSouthAfrica
• You Tube: www.youtube.com/user/IECSouthAfrica
• Contact Centre: 0800 11 8000