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Media correct to report 13 million eligible SA voters did not vote

A reader today asked Africa Check to verify the claim in weekend media reports that "around 13 million" eligible voters failed to cast a ballot in last week's elections in South Africa.

Let's start with the number of eligible voters. According to the 2011 Census, there were an estimated 31,434,035 people eligible to vote in South Africa as of 11 November 2013.

Of these, 25,381,293 registered to vote in time for the elections and by the close of polling day only 18,654,457 had actually cast a vote; a shortfall of 12,779,578 on the total number of possible voters.

Based on these figures -- and even allowing for factors such as the likely small incremental growth in the population between November 2013 and election day, and the number of South Africans living outside South Africa who did and could have voted -- we believe the number of "around 13 million" quoted in media reports is broadly accurate. - Africa Check 12/05/2014

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