EDITORIAL: Remember, your vote is secret
DA claim needs to be treated with caution
The DA set the cat among the social media pigeons this weekend with its claim that it “outperformed” the ANC in voter registrations, recording 59,689 new and re-registrations “for” the party from November 23-January 5.
It’s a clickbaity headline and, like most clickbait, it deserves to be treated with caution.
The certainty of the 59,689 figure — down to the last individual — lends it all an air of credibility. Only, it’s misleading. As the electoral commission swiftly pointed out, “by law, your vote is secret. Eligible voters register to be on the voters roll and are not required to disclose who they intend to vote for.”
They don’t, in other words, register for any party.
It’s an important point, and one that goes to the heart of democracy: anonymity of individual voter preferences throughout the electoral process.
According to a TimesLIVE report, the argument seems to be that the political preferences of registering voters will mirror historical voting patterns in their districts. So a disproportionate increase in registrations in a DA stronghold will translate into a similar increase in votes come elections. It’s about the votes the party can expect to receive — a far cry from registering “for” the DA.
At best it’s a poor choice of words; at worst, patent electioneering.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.