The Midpoint Paper Series N° 2/2020 December 2020 - The South African non-voter: An analysis
The Midpoint Paper Series N° 2/2020 December 2020
On 8 May 2019, South Africans voted in their sixth democratic national and provincial elections. A record 26,7 million eligible South Africans registered to vote in the election.2F1 The registered population represented 74.6% of the total voting-age population of over 35,8 million0F†. Over 17.6 million voters participated on election day. Yet electoral participation decreased quite dramatically, accelerating the steady decline in voter turnout across South Africa’s previous democratic elections.
The decline in the turnout rate of 8% among registered voters from 73% in 2014 to 66% in the 2019 elections was the sharpest since the 2004 elections. It meant that, for the first time since the founding democratic elections in 1994, less than half (49%) of all eligible South Africans cast a vote in 2019. South Africa’s participation levels are now on par with other low turnout countries in terms of its eligible participation.