Hundreds of South African expats will be unable to vote in this year’s general election because of an alleged government communications botch up. Voters living abroad will go to the polls tomorrow, exactly a week before citizens at home do so. The miscommunication has been attributed to a failure by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, and by the Independent Electoral Commission, to tell the expats that they must complete a form if they want to vote. The error, according to South Africa’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Jeanette Ndhlovu, has created a “problem everywhere”. “I’ve been in touch with my colleagues at other embassies and many other expats also failed to submit the VEC10 forms on time. It will not be possible for them to vote,” Ndhlovu told The Times. The form is a required notification to the IEC of intention to vote. It specifies where the voter wants to cast his ballot. The deadline for filling in the form was midnight on March 12.
According to South African expats in Ghana, high commission staff in the West African country told them they had to register by February 7 and take a valid identity document and passport to the voting station.
They say they were not told about the VEC10 form, which had to be submitted online.
“At the time of registration I asked what else was required,” said one expat in Ghana. “The reply was ‘. just bring along the piece of paper and your ID’. I became aware of the extra form to be completed only on Friday.”
Andy Sarson said the high commission had had ample time in which to send out an e-mail “advising all those registered in Ghana to follow this procedure”.
“I feel robbed of the opportunity to vote because of the incompetence of the high commission.”
Full Article: Expats’ troubled vote – Times LIVE.