Much is made, each election season, of the illiteracy of SA voters. “People vote for the wrong party by mistake,” is a common cry. This is really just a variation on the “voting fodder” complaint: the electorate is easily duped; we vote with our hearts and not our heads; we vote out of tradition rather than on the basis of delivery or manifestos. But SA voters are not stupid. Educated and uneducated, rich and poor alike, we arrive at the voting station ready to look for our preferred party on the ballot. Party logos help with that identification process — happily, the IEC no longer includes photographs of party leaders — and for the 2019 poll the electoral body has decided to separate the acronyms that previously caused acrimony: the ANC, the APC and the AIC won’t be near each other. The 2019 elections do, however, present an opportunity to discuss visual literacy if we “read” these logos with a critical eye. For the edification of the voting public, I will dedicate my columns over...

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