The Electoral Commission of Zambia has issued a directive banning the use of cellphones inside polling stations during the August 11 presidential, legislative and local elections. But some opposition groups have questioned the rationale behind the directive. Parliament member Request Muntanga, of the main opposition United Party for National Development, called it disturbing. Local media quoted Muntanga as saying, “I want to see where there is a regulation that says no cellphone [in polling stations]. … The [electoral commission] is already creating uneasiness among players.”
Priscilla Isaac, director of elections at the commission, said the cellphone directive was aimed at ensuring that voters do not undermine the transparency and credibility of the electoral process.
“They would not be allowed to use cellphones inside the polling stations. But if somebody needs to make a call or send a message, they can do so outside the polling station building, because we found that [cellphone use inside] tends to be disruptive,” Isaac said.
“Last year in January, we actually had some voters taking photos of their ballot paper after they had marked it, and they were posting it on social media, which is not permissible because that is equivalent [to] campaigning, and it compromises the secrecy of the ballot,” she said.
Full Article: Zambia Commission Bans Cellphone Use in Polling Stations.