United Kingdom-based law expert, Alex Tawanda Magaisa, has said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is right in prohibiting photographing marked ballots.
ZEC issued a statement announcing that taking photos in the polling station and sending them on social media saying it is a violation of the law. This was after pictures of marked ballots circulated on social media platforms.
Commenting on the development, Magaisa, a former Chief of Staff in the office of a former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, said despite ZEC’s shortfalls, the electoral body was right this time. He said:
@ZECzim fails on a lot of things but it is right to insist on this prohibition of photographing marked ballots. The moral hazard of allowing pictures is that a party can direct voters to take such pictures as proof of how they voted and this undermines the secrecy of voting.
When some suggested that there was nothing wrong in photographing marked ballots, Magaisa said:
But imagine Party X instructs voters in an area that they must take photos of their marked ballots and present them to it as proof of how they have voted. Do you not see how that is a problem?
Some agreed with him saying it could result in the intimidation of voters who would not have provided proof that they voted for a certain political party’s candidate.