The Electoral Commission (IEC) received 19 265 notifications of registered South Africans who would be out of the country on Election Day and want to vote in the 2009 National and Provincial Elections. Of these 17 841 were approved and 1 424 were rejected mainly due to the applicant not being a registered voter or his/her notification was sent after the deadline.
Voters had to notify the Chief Electoral Officer of their intention to vote and whether they want to apply and cast a special vote on 20 or 21 April 2009 in their voting district before they depart South Africa, or if they want to vote at a specified South African foreign mission abroad on 15 April 2009.
This they had to do by completing a VEC 10 form, which was available on the IEC website and South African missions abroad, and the completed form had to be delivered to the Chief Electoral Officer not later than midnight on 27 March 2009. There is no extension of this cut-off date. Voters who did not notify the Chief Electoral Officer by that date will regrettably not be allowed to apply for and cast a special vote.
Once the VEC 10 form was received, IEC officials verified the registration status of the applicant on the voters’ roll and informed the relevant foreign mission or voting station of the status of the applicant on the voters’ roll. Applicants had to be registered voters on the proclamation date for these elections which was 12 February 2009. Persons who have notified the Chief Electoral Officer can now check the status of their application on the IEC website: www.elections.org.za under Check Status.
Voting at South African missions abroad
It is important to note that out of the 17 841 approved applications, 16 240 voters intend to cast a vote on 15 April 2009 at the South African mission as indicated on their form.
South Africans voting at missions abroad must in addition to their South African green bar-coded identity document or valid Temporary Identity Certificate produce their passport when they vote. Without these documents voting will not be permitted. At the mission, they will also be required to complete an application form for a Special Vote called a VEC 1 form.
Voting stations at South African missions abroad will be open from 07:00 until 19:00.
The voting station with the highest number of voters is London (United Kingdom) with 7 472 followed by Canberra (Australia) with 1 235, Dubai (United Arab Emirates) with 900, Wellington (New Zealand) with 410, The Hague (The Netherlands) with 378 and Dublin (Ireland) with 360. Voting stations with the lowest number of voters are Asmara (Eritrea), Suva (Fiji), Ramallah (Palestine), Bujumbura (Burundi) and Trinidad & Tobago (Port of Spain) with only ONE voter each.
Voting in South Africa on 20 or 21 April prior to departure
Altogether 1 601 South Africans will vote at the office of the Presiding Officer in their voting district on 20 or 21 April before they leave South Africa.
A voter whose application has been approved must when voting in South Africa produces his/her South African green bar-coded identity document or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate.
Voting times on 20 and 21 April in South Africa will be from 09:00 until 17:00.
For more information please visit the IEC website on www.elections.org.za