Posted by Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen on June 3, 2011
Over 15 million potentially eligible voters did not cast their vote in the recent local government elections. This analysis compares the mid-year population estimates with the voters role.
A development worker in Cape Town pointed out that there was a significant gap between the potential number of voters, and those on the voter’s role. It piqued my interest, and I asked a couple more community activists about this. They all confirmed the view that in their areas, the level of voter registration was low. Could this view from the ground be correct? The proposition is that they may exist – in the words of one of the community workers – “an excluded majority” not even on the voters roll. To explore this question, we have compared the voters roll with population estimates.
In sum, this exploration seeks to find out what proportion of the population are on the voter’s roll. In undertaking this analysis, only official data has been utilised. These are:
- Indepedent Electoral Commission (IEC) reports on voter turnout by province were generated using the IEC’s report generator;
- Statistics South Africa’s Mid-Year Population Estimates (2010). The cut-off point in the data is at 20, which means that potential voters between 18 and 20 are not counted in these results. Including 18-20 year olds in the analysis would potentially increase the size of the so-called “silent majority”.