#MakeMyVoteCount

Stand up today to protect democracy in South Africa! Fill in the form below to inform the President, the Minister of Home Affairs and Parliament that South Africans will protect democracy!

The IRR takes issue with and warns South Africans of the profound risk to constitutional democracy posed by the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill, B22 of 2020, introduced in Parliament by the Minister of Home Affairs.

The Electoral Laws Amendment Bill, B22 of 2020 opens the door to electronic voting, a system of voting that can be used to manipulate election results. Help us stop this!

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The grave risk posed by this Bill to the integrity of the ballot box is caused by what bears the hallmarks of a cynical, underhanded attempt to chip away at the remaining vestiges of democratic accountability in South Africa through drastic, irresponsible, anti-democratic, and possibly unconstitutional delegation of a function that ought by rights to rest in an entity democratically accountable to the people of South Africa.

Despite this, Parliament has only given South African mere weeks to make comment on the Bill!

Legislation affecting the bases of constitutional democracy cannot be adequately considered by the South African public in a mere space of three weeks, especially not if the way is paved for the future undermining of free and fair elections. The Electoral Laws Amendment Bill introduced by the Minister does exactly that – and does it with negligible democratic input and oversight.

It is also troubling that Parliament merely published a call for comments in a single newspaper. This is not the participatory democracy required by the Constitution. It points to a cynical attempt at box ticking – and excludes all South Africans who did not read the relevant newspaper, from cover to cover, on the particular day.

The IRR urges the Minister of Home Affairs to immediately retract the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill and delete from it all clauses seeking to introduce “a different voting method”. If the Minister is unwilling to do this, Parliament must extend the period for public comment to three months, so as to give the public “a reasonable opportunity to know about the issues” and “a meaningful opportunity to be heard” in the making of the laws that govern them. This, as the Constitutional Court has ruled in several instances, is what the Constitution requires the legislature to do.

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