A legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu has cautioned electorates against taking photos of themselves in the voting booth.
This offence, he said, can attract a fine or a jail term of not more than 2 years.
“…a person who contravenes provisions of the Law, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine or an imprisonment of a term not exceeding 2 years or both.”
His caution comes to counter an argument by Legal Practitioner Samson Lardi Anyenini that no law criminalises the recording of activities in the voting booth, including persons casting their votes.
The argument also follows the arrest of two voters who were arrested for taking photos of their ballot papers after voting during the Special Voting exercise on Tuesday, December 1.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show, Samson Lardi disagreed with the decision on the arrest, stating that “nothing is a criminal offence unless a law, not inconsistent per our Constitution, says so and prescribes a punishment for it.
“I don’t know why a person would want to take a picture in a booth, however, I cannot find a law in this Republic, prescribing punishment for disclosure of vote,” he said.
Mr Anyenini argued based on Section 24 of the Representation of the People’s Law that no law prescribes punishment for persons who disclose their voters.
He said this part of the law “which is about disclosure of a vote does not prohibit a voter from disclosing his vote.
“It actually says a person who has voted at an election shall not be required to state for whom that person has voted in proceedings questioning the election,” he said.
“The law is such that you cannot compel a person to disclose who they voted for. How is this a charge?” he quizzed.
Mr Kpebu, however, in response to this said the Constitution bars, citizens, from disclosing activities within the voting booth.
Backing his claim with provisions in Section 31 3c of the PNDC law 284 and Article 49(1) of the Constitution which requires voters to cast their ballots in secrecy, Lawyer Martin Kpebu urged voters to desist from any act that will be in violation of the Constitution.
The law states that “no person shall communicate at any time to any person, any information obtained in a polling station about the candidate for whom a voter in that station has voted or is about to vote or about the number, if any, on a ballot paper when given to a voter at that station,” he said.