A call for the integration of a digital voting system

By Doug Mattushek - 26 September 2019Views : 566

BY: Penuel Maduna

We as young people of the Republic of South Africa call on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to integrate a Digital voting system on the current voting systems as a way to ensure that more young people participate in elections.

We acknowledge the fact that young people (especially in a country that has unemployment seating at around 29%), are engaged in various activities, therefore spending hours in voting stations works against us. We live in a digital age where we have access to various platforms through electronics whilst we are doing what we are usually engaged on, studying, working, taking care of our families or having fun, this is therefore the reason that we call on the IEC to implement a system that will allow us to vote without taking time out of the critical activities that we are usually engaged on.

We live in a digital age and the 4th Industrial Revolution is drastically replacing what we used to do in the past. Applications to institutions of higher learning and training, employment and economic opportunities and even having fun can now be done through digital platforms, you do not even have to open the front door to have access to the whole world hence we are saying there should be a way for us to cast our votes without having to stand in long queues of hundreds if not thousands of people.

However we are further calling on the IEC and other relevant institutions to conduct thorough research before the implementation of a digital voting system to ensure that there is maximum cyber securing and transparency as a way to ensure that we protect the role that the electorate plays whilst also protecting the democratic processes of our country.

We can no longer accept a voting systems that excludes millions of young people who are unable to stand in long queues because of their academic, economic, political and personal commitments. We also wish to strongly highlight the fact that we are not calling for a complete migration from the voting system that we have, towards digital voting, however we are calling on the integration of a digital voting system into the systems that we already have in place. As a way to ensure that those who cannot stand in queues or are physically challenged are able to to vote digitally whilst those who prefer manual voting will be able to do so as well.

We call on the 4IR Commission, the Presidency and all other relevant institutions to acknowledge our submission as young people. We further call on the National Assembly, the NCOP and Provincial Legislatures to follow relevant processes to amend the electoral act and we challenge the young people who seat in this institutions to lead the process of integrating digital voting on our behalf.

We further wish to take this opportunity to reaffirm our confidence in the African National Congress as led by His Excellency President Metamela Ramaphosa, as the only organization that can deliver on the votes of young people and the society in general.

Penuel Maduna is a former Regional Chairperson of COSAS Johannesburg and he is the current Branch Treasurer of the ANCYL and he writes on his personal capacity.