As South Africa prepares for the 2024 national and provincial elections, it is important for unregistered voters to know how to register to vote online via the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) portal.
The IEC online voter registration process is especially useful if you’re unable to register physically during voter registration weekends. Only those who are registered will be allowed to vote in next year’s elections. This article outlines a simple step-by-step guide on how to go about it.
How to register to vote online in South Africa
To register to vote online in South Africa, simply visit the IEC’s online voter registration portal and follow the steps below:
- Confirm your identity by entering your 13-digit South African ID number, name and surname, and cellphone number. Next, click “Continue.”
- You will then receive a one-time PIN (OTP) on your cellphone number. Enter this OTP and click “Confirm PIN.”
- Enter your home address. Simply start by typing it and then choose the full address from the list that appears. Alternatively, enter your address, click the search button and choose the correct one.
- You will then see a summary of the details you entered. The summary will include your ward and voting district. Review these details to check if they are correct.
- Tick the declaration box and then click “ID verification.”
- Take a photo or upload a scan of your South African ID and click “Continue.”
- Once the upload is complete, you will have submitted your voter registration application successfully. You will subsequently receive an SMS notification once the IEC verifies your details.
“You are only registered to vote once you have received a receipt via SMS or email or have confirmed that you are registered,” the IEC states.
The Commission said recently that it is resolving registration challenges that produce a “pending” message. “The ‘pending’ message is received by voters in instances where the ID image that they have uploaded cannot be read or recognised by the system or where an image other than an ID has been uploaded. We urge voters to take extra care and follow system prompts when uploading images of their ID,” the IEC explained.
You can also use the IEC portal to view or update your current voter address, find your voting station, request a special vote or browse useful information such as upcoming election dates in your ward.
Requirements and documents
The requirements for submitting an application to register to vote are that you must be a South African citizen and be at least 16 years old (you can only vote once you attain the age of 18 years).
Furthermore, the documents you need to upload during online voter registration include your green barcoded ID book or smart ID card or temporary ID certificate (TIC).
How to check voter registration
You can check voter registration by visiting the IEC’s voter information centre online. Under the “My voter registration” section, enter your 13-digit South African ID number. Tick the “I am not a robot” checkbox and then click “Check now.”
You can similarly check your registration status via SMS. Simply SMS your ID number to 32810. If you wish to know your special vote application status, SMS your ID number to 32711. The cost is R1 per SMS.
More than a million South Africans have registered online since the Commission launched the portal in July 2021.
This year so far, new registrations have amounted to 40.6% of total online registration activity on the portal. Women account for the most users at 56% while young people under the age of 29 years also have strong usage levels.