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South Africans living abroad will cast their national election votes on Saturday

South Africans who are abroad are expected to cast their votes for this year's elections on Saturday.
South Africans who are abroad are expected to cast their votes for this year's elections on Saturday.
Image: Gallo Images

More than 29,000 South Africans who are currently abroad, but registered to vote in the upcoming elections, will cast their votes on Saturday, the electoral commission said.

Voting will take place at South Africa’s high commissions, embassies and consulates-general and will be conducted by South African diplomats who have been trained as election staff by the electoral commission.

“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,” said IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela in a statement.

“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,” Bapela said.

“Once they have voted, their ballot is sealed in a double envelope and all ballots are placed in 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 (9pm 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 in the national elections.”

Bapela clarified that those voting overseas would only be allowed to vote in the national elections, not the provincial ones.

London had the highest number of expected voters at 9,084, followed by Dubai with 1,542.

Other votes would be cast at the Hague, Canberra, Abu Dhabi, Wellington, Dublin, Kinshasa, New York and Doha.

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