The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has fallen short of its 1.3 million target for the 2024 voter registration, with only 736 424 registering for the elections, which is 57 percent of the target.

According to Principal Public Relations Officer, Phatodi Nacana, eligible voters for the 2024 general election stand at 1.7 million, however, they had set a target of 1.3 million for the just-ended voter registration period from January 5 to February 3, 2024.

While he cannot confirm whether a supplementary voter registration will be extended to those who have not yet expressed their desire to vote come October, Nacana says the Commission is still to meet and decide whether there will be supplementary exercises considering all factors like the timeframe among others.

In 2018 after general registration of two and half months, over 747 000 Batswana registered to vote. In addition, after two supplementary voter registration exercises, a final 925 478 people registered to vote in the 2019 elections. Nacana further confirms that out of the 925 478 people, 777 943 cast their votes on election day in 2019.

“With the current voter registration, you can see that we achieve over 736 000 registrations within only a month. We achieved almost the same number after two and a half moth of registration in 2018,” he said.

The voter registration that ended last Saturday recorded by end of week one, January 5 to 7, a total of 87 696 people had registered to vote including those outside the country. By end of week two, a total of 229 901 had registered across the 61 constituencies as well as external, while in the third week of January 13 to 19, a total of 344 905 people had registered to vote.

After the fourth week of January 20 to 26 the number of registered voters rose to 453 608, while by end of week five, the cumulative number is now at 736 424 people.

Various reasons have been advanced for the slow the registration. Among them is that some Batswana strongly believe in casting their votes in their home villages rather than in town, and therefore were still waiting to make such travels for registration.

Others however, are uncertain about candidates in their preferred political parties, some of which had not unveiled their candidates, as they had not held primary elections.

Goodhope-Mathethe constituency tops all with over 25 000 registered to cast their votes in October, followed by Nkange with 21 146. The constituency with the least registered potential voters is Selibe Phikwe East with 5 929, followed by Francistown East with 7 266.