South Africans who wish to vote abroad, and who are registered to vote, have until midnight (UTC +2:00) tonight (12th March 2014) in which to submit their VEC10 forms on this page of the IEC’s website: bit.ly/VEC10
Compared with the number of South Africans living abroad, which is widely thought to run into the millions, the number that have indicated their intention to vote in the 2014 election via their submission of a VEC10 form is extremely low.
Over the past few months a large number of South Africans living abroad have expressed extreme frustration with the overseas voting process on social media and in emails to the DA Abroad. The reasons for these frustration include:
- The requirement that voters abroad have a valid South African passport. This is not a requirement for voters in South Africa, who are only required to bring an ID book to the polling station. Many South Africans abroad have expressed their frustration with the administrative problems and delays in applying for South African passports outside the country.
- Voting at SA Embassies, High Commissions, and Consulates only. In many cases there is no provision being made to accommodate the large diaspora of South Africans living in cities such as Perth, Vancouver, Houston, Edinburgh and Auckland among many others.
- The fact that the overseas election date is on Wednesday, 30th April 2014 – not only is this a weekday, but the IEC have still not released the necessary information on extended opening hours which would help people plan their trips to the cast their vote. Special overseas voter registration weekends were held in January this year and similar arrangements could have been made for voting over a weekend. This would have eased the burden on South Africans who may have wished to travel long distances to a SA foreign mission abroad to vote.
The DA have campaigned for the past three years for more reasonable access to voting abroad, which brought about the right for South Africans to register abroad to vote. Our campaign will not end with this election – we will continue to pursue the issue of voting accessibility for South Africans around the world, and also for the votes of South Africans abroad to count towards the provincial ballot.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOTING ABROAD
If you are a registered South African voter you can vote in the upcoming elections. South Africans abroad will vote at their nearest South African Embassy, High Commission or Consulate on the 30th April 2014. In order to vote abroad you need to:
- Be registered to vote – you can check your status here: https://www.elections.org.za/content/For-voters/My-voter-registration-details/
- Submit a VEC10 form to the IEC by midnight (UTC +2:00) on the 12th March 2014 notifying them of your intention to vote abroad: bit.ly/VEC10
- Have BOTH your green, bar-coded ID book; smartcard ID; or valid Temporary Identity Certificate; and your valid South African passport or temporary passport.