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South Africans living abroad granted voting rights?

by 1st Contact | Mar 05, 2009
  • The time for South Africans temporarily living abroad to notify the IEC of their intent to cast a “special vote” has already past. The deadline for that was the 27th of February. Voting for these individuals is set to take place on April 15, seven days before the official election day of April 22.
    Immigration

    Judgement was reserved yesterday in the case involving arguments from eight lawyers. South Africans living permanently abroad wishing to vote were represented. Everyone involved agreed that it was unconstitutional that some citizens living abroad were entitled to vote and others were not.

    The logistics of enabling the vote for all registered South Africans abroad, becomes increasingly more complicated as the election date draws near.

    Some articles offering more information on this matter can be read from the links below:

    “The Electoral Act’s definition of who can and can’t vote while overseas is unconstitutional, the Constitutional Court heard today, in a matter concerning the April 22 election.”

    Legalbrief Today – Parties to expats action agree – law is unconstitutional

    “The parties to the action represented …”

    “CONSTITUTIONAL Court judges worked into last night after a day of intense argument by eight lawyers fighting over whether all South Africans living abroad should be allowed to vote in the April elections.”

    “Justice Albie Sachs also warned against confusing a moral argument about who should be able to vote, with an argument about whether the IEC could arrange such overseas votes.”

    “COPE may take legal action to stop the April 22 elections if expatriates living abroad are prevented from voting by government’s inability to process their votes.”

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