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N Cape voter charged over ‘selfie’

Kimberley - A charge had been laid with police after a voter took a “selfie” inside a voting booth in Upington, Northern Cape IEC provincial manager Elkin Topkin said.

“Secrecy of voters is paramount and a confidentiality clause was signed so it is considered a criminal offence to make your vote known,” he said on Wednesday. “The confiscation of cellphones or storing of cellphones until a voter has completed the voting process would be an impossible task.”

A voter has her ID scanned by an IEC official at a poling station in the Johannesburg. Photo: Steve Lawrence/The Star. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Topkin said two IEC presiding officials were also removed on Wednesday after one tried to advise a voter where to place her cross and the other changed shifts with his wife.

He said that one voter was uncertain who she wanted to vote for when the IEC official pointed to the block where she should make her mark.

He added that disciplinary steps would proceed against another staff member who swopped shifts with his wife.

Topkin stated that voting got off smoothly with no incidents reported although a bus had to be used as a temporary voting station in Upington after gale force winds blew over the tent.

“Otherwise voting got off to a smooth start with stations opening at 7am or shortly thereafter. We did not have any incidents of voters camping outside voting stations to get an early start although there were people who walked to the polls from 5.30am.”

Topkin indicated that in the Northern Cape 80 percent of the voting population registered to vote.

“The province has the highest number of registered voters and we are optimistic for a 75 to 81 percent voter turn out. First time voters and those between the ages of 18 and 30 years represent about 30 percent of the voting population.”

He stated that provisions were made for inmates to vote at prison facilities where they were incarcerated even if they were not registered in that particular district.

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