#WitsPoll: 6 reasons why the SMS voting wasn't a good idea

The deadline has passed for Wits University students to vote on whether they would like the academic programme to resume next week.

Wits Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib announced that students and staff would vote on the way forward after two weeks of disruptions on university campuses nation wide.

But the idea of a poll has been hotly contested by protesting students, who are now taking legal action, and have attempted to have it thrown out by the court.

The SMS voting closed at 4pm and the university asked: "Should Wits open on Mon 3 Oct subject to appropriate security protocols being in place? Reply with YES or NO. Reply is free."

Digital activist and academic Dr Colin Thakur says the decision to use SMS voting for the Wits referendum is flawed for these following reasons:

  • The uncontrolled environment means that the electoral process is not regulated by any authority.
  • Outside influences and "shoulder-browsing" could cause voters to vote in a particular way.
  • Family members and other social structures may force voters to make a particular vote through intimidation.
  • There is no guarantee of anonymity, as cellphone numbers are tied to someone's vote.
  • There is also a risk of voter impersonation, where someone would take their device and vote on their behalf.
  • There is also the potential of vote-buying to sway the outcome in a certain direction.

According to Thakur, there are several South African examples of when SMS voting has failed to be effective, such as talent competitions Idols SA and The Voice.

Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show (with Africa Melane):


This article first appeared on 702 : #WitsPoll: 6 reasons why the SMS voting wasn't a good idea


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Disaster risk teams on standby as WC braces for heavy downpours

Disaster risk teams on standby as WC braces for heavy downpours

The City of Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management Center says it's prepared for the possibility of localised flooding overnight.

ANC names its WC election head and says De Lille more than welcome to join party

ANC names its WC election head and says De Lille more than welcome to join party

Ebrahim Rasool served as Western Cape Premier between 2004 and 2008 and will form part of the ANC's bid to reclaim the province.

Sanef says 'Stratcom' accusations mark sad day for journalism

Sanef says 'Stratcom' accusations mark sad day for journalism

Sanef Chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase says it seems that the front pages of newspapers are being used to fight a commercial battle.

Struggling to focus? You may have adult ADHD

Struggling to focus? You may have adult ADHD

Antoinette Muller, who is diagnosed with ADHD, explains the change she felt after going on treatment.

#AfricaConnected: 'Fashion in Cote d'Ivoire is pretty big!'

#AfricaConnected: 'Fashion in Cote d'Ivoire is pretty big!'

Pan-African broadcaster Lee Kasumba says Ivorians love to wear bright colours and take great pride in their local fabrics.

Another truck stuck under Muizenberg Bridge (will they ever learn?)

Another truck stuck under Muizenberg Bridge (will they ever learn?)

The Muizenberg railway bridge has become notorious for having buses and trucks smashed into the 2.5 metre high structure.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] 65-year-old doctor runs 200kms across Moroccan desert for birthday

[LISTEN] 65-year-old doctor runs 200kms across Moroccan desert for birthday

Aside from the muscle aches, Dr Hans Van Heerden feet also took a pounding as a result of the challenging sandy terrain.

Why many couples today are struggling with marriage

Why many couples today are struggling with marriage

Dr Eve advises that many modern couples need marriage to be a safe space for self-expression and self-actualisation.

The Big Pet Problem: Are you struggling to rent because you have pets?

The Big Pet Problem: Are you struggling to rent because you have pets?

Frustrated tenants say they're being discriminated against by landlords.

'The NPA should be ready and re-enroll the matter' - Nel on Malema prosecution

'The NPA should be ready and re-enroll the matter' - Nel on Malema prosecution

AfriForum not backing down over decision to privately prosecute Julius Malema.

Ed Dept scraps supplementary exams for matriculants

Ed Dept scraps supplementary exams for matriculants

The Department of Basic Education has announced it will do away with matric supplementary exams from 2019.

Do you feel shameful about sex?

Do you feel shameful about sex?

There are various reasons for feeling shame around sex, but it can be overcome, says sexologist Dr Marelize Swart.

Cape Town not out the woods yet even with recent rainfall

Cape Town not out the woods yet even with recent rainfall

Climate expert, Piotr Wolski, says the city will know towards the end of May whether 2018 is a good or bad year.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.