The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has cautioned voters against disregarding the rules and regulations of casting the vote, saying that breaking the law will not go unpunished.
NEC chairperson Kalisa Mbanda said this while addressing local and international journalists at at NEC offices yesterday.
Responding to questions regarding a few voters in the Diaspora who have been circulating photos of ticked ballots showing who they had voted for, Mbanda said the law punishes such malpractices.
“If someone breaks the electoral law or even any other law, they should be investigated. We are investigating the circumstances under which such incidents happened before we take it to another level,” he said.
While a voter is allowed to enter the booth with their phone, they are prohibited from taking photos while in there. Neither is a voter allowed to enter when someone else is there or armed.
The Executive Secretary of NEC, Charles Munyaneza, said that contact had been made with the relevant authorities to ensure that this does not happen again.
“It’s illegal and we are talking to the relevant authorities to make sure that all ballot papers are secured until the counting of votes comes to the end,” he said.
Munyaneza also urged those who still have stickers on their vehicles to obey the law and pull them down because campaigns are over.
“We are aware that this is personal property and no candidate has asked people to do so but everyone should know what the law says and adhere to it,” he said.
Asked about whether Rwanda, which is working on being the region’s IT hub, has plans of introducing electronic voting, Munyaneza said that they were taking the gradual approach.
“We haven’t reached the stage of electronic voting, but it’s a gradual process. We started with electronic voter registration, electronic mass communication and media and we are still learning from our counterparts both in the region and beyond about their experiences,” he said.
Some 6.8 million Rwandans are participating in today’s poll, 25 per cent of them first-time voters. Women constitute 54 per cent of the electorate, while 45 per cent are youth.