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uMhlanga ward councillor dispels fake news around elections

Disinformation on social media platforms has caused some confusion ahead of Wednesday’s election.

AS the country draws closer to its seventh democratic election, uMhlanga ward councillor Nicole Bollman has issued a statement surrounding certain misinformation and disinformation on social media surrounding Election Day.

This is in response to various messages circulating on WhatsApp regarding disappearing ink and nail polish disqualifying potential voters.

Misinformation is misleading content, while disinformation is false, inaccurate or misleading information designed, presented and promoted to intentionally cause public harm or for profit.

Disappearing-ink myth

“There are claims suggesting that ballots are being unmarked due to the use of disappearing ink. Based on my extensive experience in elections since 2008, I can confidently state that this is false. The reason is the logistical impracticality in that each voting station sees thousands of voters. The idea that someone could systematically sift through thousands of folded ballots, mark them and return them without detection is simply unfeasible,” she said.

The IEC has also dismissed this claim which also suggested citizens bring their own pens to voting stations.

Nail polish and voting

“Another rumour is that women need to remove nail varnish before voting. This is incorrect. Nail polish does not disqualify anyone from voting. You do not need to remove your nail polish. The integrity of the voting process remains intact, and your manicure does not interfere with your right to vote.

“In the past, there have been instances where manicured nails posed a minor challenge for applying indelible ink, a security measure to prevent double voting. If needed, officials might use acetone to clean a small area on the nail to ensure the ink mark is visible,” she said.

This has also been something the IEC has debunked.

She urged residents to be wary of fake news.

Important to remember

Driver’s licences and passports are not permitted: Your ID is the only thing you need to vote. “Don’t leave home without your Smart ID Card, Green barcoded ID book or Temporary ID Certificate when you go to vote. Remember, only these documents are accepted – passports or driver’s licences will not be permitted,” the IEC said.

 

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