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Zec to pilot test display of voters' rolls

by Staff reporter
20 Jul 2019 at 14:27hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is next month set to initiate a pilot project of displaying the voters' roll outside a polling station during three by-elections to be held in Matabeleland North province.

The move is meant to improve transparency in the electoral management system in line with international best practices. Zec announced the development through a Twitter statement on Wednesday.

"Zec will pilot test the display of voters' rolls outside polling stations during the Lupane East National Assembly Constituency, Ward 23 Nkayi RDC and Ward 22 Bubi RDC by-elections to be held on August 3, 2019. Objective is to direct voters to correct polling stations," tweeted Zec.

Zec Chief Elections Officer, Mr Utloile Silaigwana, clarified the development in a statement yesterday saying the electoral management body was using the by-elections to assess new systems for possible future adoption.

"Zec intends to use the same system for all future elections. It is part of best electoral management practices already implemented in some countries including those in the Sadc.  

"The display provides voters with a pre-poll inspection facility and assures them that they are on the voters' roll thereby increasing electoral participation.

"Secondly, it also helps reduce the number of voters turned away since a self-inspection is easily made prior to one entering the polling station.  

"Thirdly, transparency is increased as all voters at a particular polling station are free  to inspect the final voters' roll," said Mr Silaigwana.

Previously, political parties, especially the opposition, have raised concern over delays in accessing the voters' roll claiming it could contribute to electoral fraud. Mr Silaigwana said the new developments are part of their drive to improve the management of elections in the country.

"It (voters' roll) is displayed to the public for their information. Allegations of ghost voters are certainly dispelled.  

"Stakeholder engagements and collaborations are the other measures in place for sharing vital information on the electoral process and allowing stakeholders to participate in some of the electoral activities to encourage co-ownership of the entire electoral process thus increasing transparency.

"The Commission has also consolidated observations by stakeholders arising from the 2018 Harmonised Elections and has come up with proposals for inclusion in the Law reform agenda," he said.


Source - chronicle

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