By Francine Higham, DA Abroad Leader
With the results of the 2019 General Election now confirmed we are pleased to announce that 74.45% of South Africans who cast their vote abroad on the 27 April, voted for the DA.
Thank you to every single voter abroad who travelled great distances to foreign missions around the world on Freedom Day to make their vote count.
We know that there are hundreds of thousands of South Africans living around the world who still care very much for our country and for our friends and family back home – casting our vote is one way of displaying this. We also know that there are many obstacles to casting your vote abroad.
Please complete our 10-minute survey about your overseas election experience, even if you didn’t vote. This will help us improve our future campaigns >> https://forms.gle/JdRenzFPT47d2Gc88
As the DA Abroad we have fought for better access to voting abroad since before the 2009 elections, requesting:
- More voting stations
- No requirement for a passport to vote
- Our votes to count towards the provincial ballot
In 2014 our actions resulted in South Africans being able to register abroad to vote, and by lobbying the IEC ahead of the 2019 elections we were given weekend voting, the overseas voting process was streamlined, and the queue times were reduced significantly.
We are also happy to announce that this year every single ballot cast abroad arrived back in South Africa to be counted, unlike in 2014.
Unfortunately, all our other requests were blocked by the ANC government with no reason given.
The DA Abroad team of volunteers worked tirelessly ahead of this election to drive awareness of overseas voting, engaging with South Africans abroad to encourage them to vote. On election day we had over 60 volunteers at 25 voting stations around the world (23 in London alone), with party agents observing the voting process for over 63% of the votes cast to ensure they were done so freely and fairly.
19,882 votes were cast abroad (up from 18,132 in 2014), and the results show an overwhelming support for the DA with 14,802 votes cast in our favour.
We want to hear from you!
As we now reflect and learn from this experience, we would greatly appreciate your help to understand how we can improve on our campaign ahead of the elections in 2023, provide a better service to you, and ensure you are able to play an important role in our country’s future no matter where in the world you live.
Throughout the campaign we heard from many South Africans who were frustrated by the hurdles they’re expected to overcome simply to enact their democratic right, and witnessed even more who were turned away at the voting station because they didn’t have the correct documentation or who hadn’t completed the VEC10 form.
We also understand that many stayed away or didn’t vote because they didn’t think their vote would count, or they didn’t believe that any of the political parties on the ballot represented them. Your feedback is also important to us.
If you are a South African abroad, please can you complete this quick 10-minute survey and tell us about your overseas voting experience in this election.
If you did vote or if you didn’t vote, if you weren’t able to vote or if you didn’t want to vote, we want to you hear from you!
Submit your feedback via this survey: https://forms.gle/JdRenzFPT47d2Gc88
Please note that the closing date for the survey is Sunday, 26 June.
As the DA Abroad we will continue to lobby Parliament in the coming years to ensure that South Africans abroad can vote with more ease while insuring the integrity of the system. Your feedback will help us greatly with this campaign.
South African General Election: Overseas Voting 2019 vs 2014
2019 approved VEC10 applications = 31,314
2019 valid votes cast abroad = 19,882
2014 approved VEC10 applications = 27,084
2014 valid votes cast abroad = 18,247
Download xls spreadsheet with full breakdown of overseas votes by party and by voting station.