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Too Early To Confirm Voter Turnout – IEC

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has indicated that it is still premature to confirm the voter turnout as the vote count from Wednesday’s elections is ongoing.

Amid widespread conjecture regarding the turnout, the IEC’s statement follows reports of massive voter participation at polling stations nationwide.

Historically, voter participation in the national and provincial elections has shown a downward trend since 1994.

The inaugural democratic elections witnessed an 87% turnout. By 2004, this figure had significantly decreased to 76%.

In the most recent general elections in 2019, the turnout further declined by another 10%.

Analysts attribute this persistent downturn to a combination of youth disinterest in voting and broader voter disillusionment, with many abstaining from voting due to unaddressed service delivery and socioeconomic grievances.

Despite the high volume of voters observed at polling stations this Wednesday, Masego Sheburi, the IEC’s deputy chief electoral officer, remarked that it was too early to determine if this election would exceed previous turnouts.

“We were planning on improving voter turnout, that’s what we always do in each election – surpass the performance of the previous elections.”

Currently, approximately 20% of voting districts have completed their counts.