If you belong to the group of persons who can’t spend one minute on the road, church, lecture room, ceremony and what have you, without raising your phone in the name of a selfie, then have it in mind that you might be forced to cough out some cash if you are caught taking a ‘selfie’ at the polling units.
Yes, it won’t be business as usual for ‘photo freaks’, ‘selfie freaks’ and their likes in the forthcoming election as voters who take photographs of their ballot papers will now face a year in prison or fines yet to be determined.
IEC Proposes Fines For Defaulters In Polling Units
The idea was mothered and published by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) last week. According to the commission, voters photographing their marked ballot papers will be jailed for a period not longer than a year or fined an unspecified amount. it would also consider putting a stop to taking of photographs of marked ballot papers on election day and when special votes are cast.
Though, IEC’s Kate Bapela asserted that commissioners will still come up with specific amounts to be paid as fines, the commission stated that a fine not exceeding R200000, would be imposed on any individual or and political parties found contravening this electoral regulations. Because according to the commission, taking selfies increases the risk of the secrecy of the vote being undermined.
Also, one of the commission’s brilliant plan is to enable a special online and SMSes. Meanwhile, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen is expected to publish the August 3 election date in the Government Gazette next month.
We will recall that during the 2014 general elections, voters were charged not to take photographs of ballot papers and not to expose the political parties they voted for but radio personality DJ Sbu ignored the charged by posting photographs of his marked ballot papers publicly showing off that he voted for the ANC.
From all indication, the IEC is set to conduct a successful election as it appears that this year’s election will be weighty and of great importance.