The EC has responded to the complaints and concerns of stakeholders over the use of cameras and other recording devices inside polling stations.
It has stated that given the nature of the polling booth, an open basin, the presence of cameras inside polling stations may jeopardise the secrecy of the ballot as camera usage may be uncontrolled. It reminded the public that the secrecy of the ballot is aimed at ensuring that a vote is anonymous and cannot be traced back to the person who cast it. A secret ballot is thus necessary for peaceful, free and fair elections.
Further, while phones are not prohibited, they should not be used for recording purposes or taking photographs within areas that have been cordoned off. Also, a voter must not display his or her choice of a candidate on polling day by taking a photograph or any other recording of any kind. Similarly, the voter should not display his or her choice by ticking the ballot outside the basin.
The Commission noted that these measures are in line with article 68(1) of the Constitution. It provides that all public elections shall be by secret ballot, save for administrative units elections (LC 1 and LC II).
Media personnel who were accredited to cover the elections will be permitted to access polling stations an may take photographs of the voting process while outside the cordoned off area in a manner that protects the privacy of the voters and secrecy of the ballot.
The counting of votes cast at each polling station will be conducted openly, and a voter or candidate’s agent may take photographs or recordings of the counting process and the Declaration of Results Forms.
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