IEC Exceeds Historic 1 Million Mark In Voter Registration

  • Records numbers reached after three rounds of voter registration
  • Says women account for 54% of registered voters, men 46%, youth 32%
  • Warns voter apathy is yet another issue that should be overcome


For the first time in the country’s history, the number of voters registered for general elections has surpassed the one million mark, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced.

This follows conclusion of the second supplementary voting registration from 20-31 May that yielded 197 021 registered voters, raising the total of registered voters in Botswana to 1 005 909 precisely.

Although inspections of the roll have yet to be conducted, the IEC says it has now reached 80 percent of its desired target of 1.3 million eligible voters.

Up 7% on 2019 

This tally for the 2024 general elections represents a significant 7 percent increase on figures for 2019.

The announcement of the record registration tally was made by the Secretary of the IEC, Jeffrey Siamisang, in a special IEC update programme on Btv last week.

Women account for the largest quotient of registered voters at 413 599, which translates into 54 percent, while a total 350 940 men, or 46 percent, have registered to vote.

80% of target achieved 

Siamisang also revealed that 241 370 youths, the equivalent of 32 percent, have registered for the general elections. The number of Batswana in the diaspora who have registered to vote stands at 1725 against a targeted 2000.

“We are a little over a million in terms of our registered voters,” said Siamisang. “Our target was 1.3 million, but so far we have attained 80 percent of the intended target.

“In 2019, we reached only 73 percent of our target. The voting population of Botswana is close to 1.7 million, but we considered multiple factors that ultimately led us to a target of only 1.3 million people.”

Inspection underway

The inspection is already underway, having begun on 5 July to end on 25 July after which the roll available for perusal by members of the public.

He emphasised the need for people to come forward to scrutinise the roll in case there are anomalies to correct.

Siamisang said one of the most frequent issues are instances where people register in areas where they do not reside, adding that people must register in areas of their principal residence.

Ongoing court case 

“There is an ongoing case whereby 188 voters were flagged in areas where they don’t reside,” he said. “The cases are at magistrates court level.

“The voters may lose their eligibility to vote in as they could be removed from the voters’ roll if found to be in the wrong.”

But as commendable as the voter registration figures are, Siamisang warned that they may have to be ratified after the second supplementary voter registration roll has been inspected.

Voter apathy 

He added that overcoming voter apathy is yet another issue that should be prioritised. “We cannot rest on our laurels because we have to overcome voter apathy,” he said.

“Information dissemination is important to remind voters about the importance of voting. They should bear in mind that they have the power to shape their future through their votes.”