I've become aware that many expats are unsure of the recent Constitutional Court ruling that expats may vote in the April 22 election.
Forget every rumour, advice or suggestion you have heard, here are the facts:
If you are a South African citizen overseas for whatever reason - forget the previous limited restrictions - YOU MAY VOTE.
The IEC has re-opened the registration process to expats for just 15 days (13 days left to go). To vote you need to do the following in sequence:
1. Check that you appear on the IEC registrar. Click here to check. If you were registered for any previous elections, your name will appear and therefore you qualify. If your name does not appear, you will not be able to vote this time.
2. If you are registered, you then need to apply for a SPECIAL VOTE by filling in form VEC10 and faxing or emailing it to the IEC. In order to fill in form VEC10, you need to check the location of your nearest consulate as it will ask for this detail on the form. You cannot vote elsewhere once you have submitted the form.
3. Fill in form VEC10 and fax it to the IEC (fax: +27 12 428 5566 or +27 12 428 5279) or email it to the IEC (firstname.lastname@example.org) - and may I suggest also email it to the DA (email@example.com) or the Freedom Front Plus FF+ (firstname.lastname@example.org) who have assured people that they will guarantee the form is faxed or hand-delivered to the IEC. I wouldn't bet that there are not people at the IEC who won't tear up your application when they see it is from an expat. Do this even if you do not intend voting for the DA or alternatively get in touch with the political party you intend voting for to see if they will assist you.
4. The IEC will check that you are registered and advise the consulate that you will be voting.
5. On April 15, not April 22, only expats will vote. On April 15th, take your green ID and your passport and go to the consulate. Fill in a form VEC1 at the consulate and cast your vote.
That's it. If you have any questions, send them to me and I will gladly assist.
From the DA website:
TIPS ON HOW TO FILL IN THE VEC10 FORM
The VEC10 form can be quite confusing due to the fact that it was designed for voters who live in South Africa, and are only leaving the country for a short while.Here a few tips on what information you should provide when filling in the various sections of the form:
1) Election Date and Voting District: Do not worry too much about filling in these details. The IEC should be able to fill these in for you.
2) Abroad at the South African/Embassy/High Commission/Consulate in: you obviously fill in the mission you will be voting at.
3) I will leave the Republic/left the Republic on: this is the date you left the republic to go live abroad.
4) The purpose of my temporary absence is: you must fill in the reason for why your are currently living overseas; for example, on a working holiday visa etc.
5) I am ordinarily resident in the Republic at the following address: this is the address where you are currently registered at in South Africa. In other words the place you lived at when you last voted or registered in a previous election.
6) My temporary address abroad on election day will be: you must fill in the address that you are currently living at abroad.
However, if you still have queries you can email email@example.com and we will do our best to assist you.
Make sure you get your forms in by midnight on 27
February March 2009!