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Reading: Electronic Voting in Africa – Silver Bullet or Tool for Repression?

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Electronic Voting in Africa – Silver Bullet or Tool for Repression?

Author:

Johanna Horz

Abstract

Electronic Voting Technologies (EVTs) are increasingly used in elections,
whether as electronic voter identification or digital ballot counting. Enthusiasts
state that EVTs can avoid manual error and interference, thereby curbing
corruption. African elections infamous for electoral rigging and marred by
low trust, making them the perfect case for EVTs. However, as this essay
shows, EVTs in authoritarian settings can prove more harmful than beneficial.
Electronic ballots can misfunction or be manipulated. Moreover, the mandatory
collection of biometric data by states can lead to increased civilians surveillance
and repression. This paper details the pitfalls of EVTs and ethical dilemmas. It
concludes that in the absence of political will, the creation of large databases
curbs rather than enhances democratic freedoms.

How to Cite: Horz, J., 2020. Electronic Voting in Africa – Silver Bullet or Tool for Repression?. iSCHANNEL, 14(1), pp.19–23.
Published on 06 Jan 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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