DA Abroad thanks thousands of overseas voters; vows to fight for improvements to voting system

Issued by Ludre Stevens – DA Abroad Chairperson
24 May 2024 in News

The DA Abroad would like to thank the thousands of voters who came out over the past weekend to make their mark during the overseas voting period for South Africa’s elections.

Stories of passionate South Africans travelling great distances to reach voting stations, and those who stood for hours in queues across the globe, are testament to the importance of this election.

We also know that there were many challenges faced by voters abroad.

Miscommunication from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) regarding the required ID documents to vote resulted in many South Africans being turned away from voting stations.

This followed incorrect information sent in email communication by the IEC indicating that only a passport was required to vote, when in fact only an ID was accepted.

A lack of voting stations in cities with large South African expat populations, meant that tens of thousands of eligible voters were excluded from the opportunity to vote.

This is despite the DA winning a court case against the IEC for more voting stations overseas – including in places like Perth, whose large South African population could not make the 4-hour flight to vote at the Embassy in Canberra, Australia.

Similar situations were faced by voters in New Zealand, the United States, Canada and Europe.

The DA Abroad has noted the many challenges raised by South Africans over the past few days and will ensure that these issues are taken up with the IEC. This includes logistical issues experienced at voting stations with high numbers of voters, including The Hague and Dubai.

In particular, going forward we will be fighting for voters to be allowed to vote with either an ID OR a passport as we consider both of these valid forms of identification.

It is hugely disappointing that the IEC did not implement the court order for more voting stations in time for this election. However, we will ensure that this implemented for the next elections and that voting stations are appropriate to the populations they serve.

We now turn our energy to the elections in South Africa on 29 May 2024 and encourage each and every person to come out and vote DA to rescue our country!