The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has issued a warning to voters not to photograph marked ballots during the voting exercise and circulating them on social media platforms, as this is a violation of the right to ballot security.
This comes amid numerous photos of marked ballot papers from today’s plebiscite have leaked on various social media platforms.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission notes with concern that some voters are taking photographs of the marked ballots and sending them on social media. This is in contravention of the Constitution which protects the right to security of the ballot,” said ZEC chief election officer Utoile Silaigwana in a statement released this afternoon.
“Voters are advised that this constitutional provision is in place to protect them from victimization and is an internationally recognized right which the Commission endeavors to protect. Voters are thus advised to desist from any actions that might compromise this right and the integrity of the electoral process.”
In terms of Section 30 of the Electoral Regulations S.I 21 of 2005, taking photographs inside the polling station is prohibited and constitutes a criminal offence.
Observers, including opposition party, CCC are using this by-election to evaluate ZEC’s capacity to hold free and credible elections ahead of 2023’s general election.