• Registered South African voters who will be out of the country on 8 May can cast their ballots abroad on 27 April.
  • If all your details are already on the IEC system, the paperwork is easy.
  • But the deadline to register to vote abroad is midnight on 13 March.
  • Remember to take your domestic ID on your travels.

South African voters who will be abroad for the 2019 national election on 8 May had until midnight on Wednesday 13 March to register an intention to vote abroad.

Voting stations at embassies, high commissions, and consulates-general will be open on 27 April – and by law only on 27 April, because ballots must be transported back to South Africa for counting.

If you are abroad on 8 May but not able to vote on 27 April, tough luck.

All that is required to register for a foreign vote is a simple VEC 10 form, submitted before the deadline.

Here’s how to register to vote in the 2019 national and provincial elections if you will be abroad on ballot day.

Make sure you are registered to vote.

IEC registration status check

For R1 you can SMS your ID number to 32810 (from inside South Africa) to check your registration status. But it is faster to use the free online checking tool on the website.

If you aren't registered yet, better luck next time. But if your details are in the database, you're about halfway there already.

Submit a VEC10 notification.


There's a form you can hand-deliver to Election House in Pretoria, or you can just do the VEC10 registration in the much easier online process

Remember to take your South African ID as well as your passport when you travel.

Identity books

A passport is not enough to vote, you must also produce your ID book, or smart ID card, or a valid temporary form of national identification on the day. 

Plan to pitch up at a South African mission on Saturday, 27 April.

The list of South African foreign missions is pretty comprehensive, but actually getting to one is not always possible. In the last elections, the IEC's numbers show, 18,446 of the 26,716 people registered to vote abroad actually cast ballots.

At some 70% that's a pretty high turnout, but several of those thousands of no-show voters said it was logistics rather than willingness that hamstrung them on the day. 

For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.

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