Over 26.7 million South Africans are registered to vote in the national election on 8 May.
However, a number of South African expats already made their mark on Saturday (27 April) as they headed to the country’s high commissions, embassies and consulates-general around the world.
According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), 29,334 voters received approval to vote overseas at over 121 of South Africa’s foreign missions.
Voting lasted for almost 24 hours as voting stations opened and then closed around the world following the passage of the sun – beginning in Auckland, New Zealand and ending in the Los Angeles, United States.
The top 10 foreign missions with the most voters were:
|3||The Hague||1 355|
|5||Abu Dhabi||1 061|
This year the voting process was simplified and voters 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 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 (21:00 on 8 May), 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.
This takes place under the scrutiny of observers and party agents. Overseas voters only vote in the national and not provincial elections.