Make your mark for democracy
The Electoral Commission's drive to register one million new voters signals a potential shift.
Special voting taking place Edenglen Primary school, 31 November 2021. Picture: Neil McCartney
It’s no secret that voter turnout has dropped drastically since our first democratic elections in 1994. Next year, will see our seventh national elections and low voter turnout, particularly among the youth.
The 1994 election saw a voter turnout of 86.87%.
In 2019, that number had slipped to 66.1%. Even more concerning, the 2021 local government elections saw a 45.86% voter turnout.
People are disillusioned and feel the promise of a better life for all are just cheap words.
With this in mind, it’s positive to see the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s drive to attract more voters for next year’s general election hitting the mark.
At the weekend, they surpassed their target to register one million new voters at 23 000 voting stations across the country.
The opportunity to encourage people and, more importantly, the youth, to register to vote was not lost on SA Council of Churches general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana.
He said: “I understand the scepticism that surrounds politics and lack of trust. Your vote is more than a mark on the ballot box. It’s a declaration of a belief in a better South Africa that your vote will help shape the future.”
We must make our mark in the upcoming elections.
The very essence of our democracy is at stake here.