Voting for South Africans living abroad took place on Saturday, 27 April.  An estimated 30000 people voted worldwide, this being the first ballots cast for the May 08 elections.

These votes are not counted immediately; instead the ballot papers are shipped to South Africa, and are then counted at the IEC’s headquarters once voting is concluded on May 08.

How does the entire process work?

Once South Africans concluded voting at the various missions abroad on 27 April, their ballots are sealed in a double envelope, which are then placed in sealed diplomatic bags and transported back to the National Office of the IEC in Gauteng over the coming week.

At the close of voting day in South Africa (May 08 at 21h00), the overseas ballots will be opened by election officials, counted and added to the national ballot count for each party contesting the national elections. This will happen under the scrutiny of election observers and party agents.

South Africans voting abroad only get a national vote and do not get the provincial ballot.