By Paidamoyo Chipunza
The country is now a step closer to harmonised elections after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced yesterday that members of the public will be able to inspect the provisional voters’ roll from May 19 to May 29, in line with provisions of the Electoral Act.
According to the elections management body, the inspection, which follows the recent de-duplication exercise that was meant to weed out multiple registrations, will enable potential voters to correct anomalies that could have been captured in the ongoing biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise.
In a statement yesterday, ZEC’s acting chief elections officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana said in instances where those that had already been registered had passed on, relatives could take burial orders or death certificates to inspection centres so that the persons could be removed from the roll.
Those who have changed residential addresses could also duly effect changes, as the elections will be polling station- based.
“It is hereby notified for the general public that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) shall lay open the country’s Provisional Voters’ Roll for inspection by the public from 19 May 2018 to 29 May, 2018, in accordance with Section 21 of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13),” said Mr Silaigwana.
“The purpose of the Provisional Voters’ Roll inspection is to allow members of the public to check if their details were correctly captured and if not, have their anomalies corrected.
“The electorate should bring burial orders or death certificates for their deceased registered relatives so that they are removed from the Provisional Voters’ Roll.
“Registrants may also take the opportunity to transfer their registration to appropriate polling stations based on new proof of residence.”
ZEC, said Mr Silaigwana, believed that the provisional voters’ roll would “undoubtedly contain some errors” and registrants should inspect their details to avoid disappointment on voting day.
Inspection centres would be opened at all polling stations.
“Once all the corrections have been taken on board, the Commission will then produce the Final Voters’ Roll that will be used in the forthcoming 2019 Harmonised Elections,” said Mr Silaigwana.
“This means that the Provisional Voters’ Roll may undoubtedly contain some errors and, therefore, registrants are urged to go and inspect their details to avoid disappointment on polling day.”
ZEC has been encouraging those that have not registered to vote to do so at its provincial and district offices.
Next month’s inspection of the voters’ roll follows the de-duplication exercise which was recently carried out by the election management body to weed out multiple registrations, as part of processes to come up with a credible voters’ roll.
The new BVR voting system, which captures voters’ biometric features, will be used for the first time in national elections.
In essence, it is meant to curb double voting by ineligible people, including possible inflation of votes for participating candidates.
Government is working on ensuring that this year’s elections are transparent, credible, free and fair.
Speaking in a recent interview, ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said the new voting system was tamper-proof.
“The BVR system is tamper-proof for the simple reason that the data that we collected is housed in something called the consolidation server,” she said.
“The consolidation server contains the master server that contains all the information and we then have other servers which we are using to connect that data.
“Those servers have very strict protection files. They are very strict un-hackable access level passwords that are tamper-free.”
ZEC’s provisional statistics show that by April 19, more than 5,4 million prospective voters had been captured under the BVR system.