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IEC Pledges to Investigate Lowest Voter Turnout in South Africa's Electoral History

© AP Photo / Jerome DelayElection volunteers count ballots at Craighall Park Elementary school in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday May 29, 2024.
Election volunteers count ballots at Craighall Park Elementary school in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday May 29, 2024. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 03.06.2024
Just 58.64% of registered voters cast ballots during this year's elections, according to the IEC. The turnout appeared less than the 66% recorded in the 2019 elections. A total of 27.7 million people were registered, but only slightly over 16 million valid votes were tallied.
Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) will look into causes of historically low voter turnout in polls held in 2024, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer of the body Masego Sheburi told local media outlet EWN.
Sheburi argued that one of the possible reasons for such a low electoral involvement of the population could be a new law that was enacted just for these parliamentary elections, which stated that voters could only cast their ballots at the polling station where they were registered. As a result, many voters were turned away at polling stations.
"It could have been a contributing factor, but as I said, we have to look at the evidence and understand what drove voter behaviour to be the manner it did," Sheburi said.
Earlier, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said his department had done everything possible to ensure that voters had their identity documents before the elections.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during the announcement of the results in South Africa's general elections in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday, June 2, 2024.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 03.06.2024
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The elections' turnout was 58.64%, with a little over 16 million of the 27.7 million registered voters casting ballots.
According to the results announced on Sunday, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had won 159 out of 400 seats in the National Assembly (lower house of parliament), falling short of a parliamentary majority.