With less than 700 day to go the DA Abroad, together with our DA colleagues in South Africa, have already been working to improve overseas voter access ahead of the South African National Elections in 2019.
South Africans living abroad can vote in National Elections, however this is not an easy process. Those who voted abroad in 2014 may remember the numerous frustrations experienced by South Africans who were turned away due to not having been correctly informed about the overseas voting process and missing certain deadlines, or not having the correct documentation with them. Many travelled great distances to get to their voting stations, sometimes queuing for up to 4 hours to then cast their vote, while for others the distance to their nearest voting station was simply to far (For example 3,718.3 km from Perth in Australia to the voting station in Canberra).
The ability for South Africans living abroad to vote is a core issue for the DA Abroad. We’ve already started the campaign to ensure as many overseas South Africans can vote, as easily as possible, and that they are informed about overseas voting processes in a timely manner. The aim is to ensure they’re able to get to a voting station having completed all the necessary requirements in order to have their say in the elections.
Requested Improvements to Overseas Voting
The DA’s liaison to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), Mike Moriarty presented the following DA Abroad requests at an IEC National Party Liasion Committee (NPLC) meeting on the 26 January:
- Increasing the number of voting stations abroad
- Overseas voting days to be held on a weekend
- Removing the requirement for a passport to be presented when voting
- Establishing voting stations as counting stations (to avoid overseas votes note being included in the count due to courier delays as previously experienced in 2014)
- Improving the performance of DIRCO who manage overseas voter registration and the voting stations
The IEC will be deliberating over these requests, and we expect a response at the next NPLC meeting on the 5 July 2017.
For more information about this campaign or to find out more about how you to vote abroad email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also check out our Voting Abroad FAQs for more information.