IEC says voting went smooth abroad

South Africans went out in their numbers to cast their votes at South African embassies across the globe. Image: X/@ExpatSouth

IEC hails smooth special voting abroad

The Electoral Commission has announced the successful conduct of special voting abroad, reporting no major incidents during the process.

IEC says voting went smooth abroad

South Africans went out in their numbers to cast their votes at South African embassies across the globe. Image: X/@ExpatSouth

The Electoral Commission (IEC) has officially confirmed the smooth progress of special voting abroad without any significant incidents.

Highlighting the intricate logistics and meticulous planning executed across all missions, the IEC expressed gratitude towards South Africans who participated in special voting across the globe.

78 000 South African citizens voting globally through special measures

Special votes serve to ensure that citizens who may otherwise be unable to vote are afforded the opportunity to do so. This round of special measures took place between 17 and 18 May, across 111 South African missions worldwide, facilitating the voting process for approximately 78 000 citizens.

Despite challenges such as adverse weather conditions, long queues, and considerable travel distances, voters demonstrated patience and perseverance.

“Appreciations are also due to voters who in some instances had to endure intemperate weather, wait in queues for extended periods, and travel significant distances. In many stations, a steady flow of voters was reported throughout the day with some missions only closing some two hours beyond their scheduled operating hours.

“Notwithstanding, voters still expressed gratitude on social media and other platforms for the seamless voting experience and level of service they received at stations,” the IEC said.

The London mission in the United Kingdom remains the sole voting station open until 21:00 on Sunday, 19 May, catering to over 24 000 registered voters.

IEC urges caution: Voter turnout analysis premature before 29 May

The IEC cautioned against premature conclusions regarding voter turnout, stressing that analysis should only be undertaken after the close of voting stations in the country on 29 May.

Following the completion of overseas voting, all cast and unused ballot papers from the 111 missions will be securely transported back to the country. The subsequent verification and counting processes will occur in the presence of contestant representatives and observers.

Acknowledging the indispensable support from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the dedication of department staff and mission heads worldwide, the IEC emphasised the upcoming preparations for in-country special voting on 27 and 28 May.

Of the 1.7 million approved special votes, approximately 653 000 are designated as home visit special votes, while just over 1 million are allocated for voting station special votes. These special votes are distributed across 22 626 out of the total 23 292 voting stations, reinforcing the IEC’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity.

Reiterating the general principle, the IEC emphasised that voters may only cast their ballots at a voting station where they are registered, provided they have notified the Commission in advance.