First votes in National Elections to be cast in less than 30 hours

25 years to the day when South Africans voted in the first democratic elections, voting in the sixth national elections gets underway at 07H00 (local time) on Saturday 27 April 2019 at South Africa’s high commissions, embassies and consulates-general around the world.

Overseas voting will continue for almost 24 hours as voting stations open and then close round the world following the passage of the sun – beginning in Auckland, New Zealand and ending in the Los Angeles, United States.

The 29 334 voters who received approval to vote overseas are required to visit the mission indicated on their application and take with them their South African ID document (either a green barcoded ID, a smartcard ID or a valid temporary ID certificate) AND their valid passport.

This year the voting process has been simplified and they will no longer be required to complete a special vote application form before voting.

Once they have voted, their ballot is sealed in a double envelope and all ballots are placed sealed diplomatic bags which will be transported back to the National Office of the Electoral Commission over the coming week.

At the close of voting on election day in South Africa (21H00 on 8 May 2019) the returned overseas ballots will be opened by election officials, counted and added to the national ballot count for each party the national elections. This takes place under the scrutiny of observers and party agents. Overseas voters only vote in the national and not provincial elections.

Voting is conducted by South African diplomats who have been trained as election staff by the Electoral Commission – although a number of senior Electoral Commission staff have also been deployed to high density overseas voting sites such as London and Dubai.

The top 10 foreign missions with the most voters are:

Mission      Approved applicants
London      9 084
Dubai      1 542
The Hague      1 355
Canberra      1 195
Abu Dhabi      1 061
Wellington       927
Dublin       817
Kinshasa       797
New York       605
Doha       566

Ensuring free and fair elections 

For media queries please contact Kate Bapela on 082 600-6386
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