Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Voting registration

Just over 20 years ago, the permanent Independent Electoral Commission was created - see below. In March 1997, the then Town Clerk, Marquard approached me and asked if I'd assist in computerizing all eligible voters on the municipal roll. I was not at all computer savvy at the time and entered the municipal office set aside for this purpose with a little trepidation. Imagine my relief when I saw the familiar face of Chris, school friend of our younger son, Angus. Chris had left school the year before and entered the IT world. So here he was in our little town setting up the database for the Marquard and Moemaneng voter's rolls. 

Chis was the most patient and considerate teacher ever. During that first day where he taught me how to copy and paste; cut and paste (yes, I didn't know how to this until this time) and how to create an Excel worksheet and much more,  it came out that he had nowhere to stay while in town. Well, at the time, we owned a house with seven bedrooms; one being Angus' room with twin beds. The IEC recompensed me for Chris' board and lodging. 

Three days later, Chris and I had completed a most comprehensive data base with the relevant information on every voter in the district. Chris returned to the city.   I was paid handsomely for my work, I had had my first taste of politics and most importantly,  I could call myself computer literate!

VISION STATEMENT To strengthen constitutional democracy through the delivery of free and fair elections in which every voter is able to record his or her informed choice.

MISSION STATEMENT The Independent Electoral Commission is a permanent body created by the Constitution to promote and safeguard democracy in South Africa. Although publicly funded and accountable to parliament, the Commission is independent of the government. Its immediate task is the impartial management of free and fair elections at all levels of government.

A temporary Electoral Commission was created in 1993 to manage the first non-racial election of the national and provincial legislatures, which was held on 26–29 April 1994. The permanent Electoral Commission was established on 17 October 1996, and has since managed general (national and provincial) elections in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014, and local (municipal) elections in 2000, 2006, 2011 and 2016.

  Being in Africa for most of the next decade, Grant and I would only vote when we were home in SA. Then in our second year after Grant's contract had finished, I was phoned by friend, Estelle who worked at the local butchery. The owner of this shop, Flip (Afrikaans for Phillip) was our DA candidate. She was offering me a position to work for another DA Councillor elect, Piet van Wyk. 

What did I do? 

Of course, I rose to the challenge. Not only did I work for Piet for the next three months running up to the municipal elections, but I became the party PRO and subsequently organized the IEC special votes for the oldies in the retirement center. In the last month when we had dry runs on the election and had to glean information from the oldies, I enlisted Rina's help and she was paid by Piet as well. 

Do please click on the link below and check it out. Many of you were my blogger friends already and may remember this period in my life.  


This weekend past the whole country was encouraged to register at special voting stations around the country.  22,000 stations were open from 8am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. According to the news reports people responded very well and had their addresses amended where necessary (as was in my case!) and could check that they're eligible to vote in the 2019 elections. 

You can imagine the nostalgia when I stopped at the voting station on my way to work  from the Parkrun on Saturday. 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here



  1. Hi Jo, I love that you are always ready to tackle and learn new skills. The computer skills you learned over those 3 days with Chris have certainly more than paid off over the past 20 years! I'd completely forgotten about the work you did with Piet. Thanks for taking me back to those days. It was great to read about them once again.

  2. I have never voted in my life ! In Belgium I was not allowed to vote because I am German. In Germany I was not allowed because I lived in Belgium. Now that has changed I could vote at the German embassy, but I don't know any German politician or party except the well known Angela Merkel, lol !

  3. Hello Jo, you are a quick learner. the knowledge from your first lesson really paid off. I will go and check out the older post. Enjoy your day and week ahead!

  4. ditto what Joyful said in her comment. so glad you had that first opportunity to learn the skills you use now. i was blessed to have a job that required me to be trained just like you were. the basics allow us to figure out the rest. at the bottom of your post, did you know you have two screen prints of your desk top showing all your info. it is showing your private info.not sure how it got there.

  5. I've done election day work here a couple of times. It's an educational experience, and quite a long day!

  6. Wow, Jo, that's something I didn't know about you, so now I'm very proud of your adventurous spirit in taking on new and different tasks. We are getting a lot of news here about the South African election, and other problems. I hope all goes well for you and yours.
    Hugs from here,
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo