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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Mobile voter registration falls short of expectations
July 10, 2013
Resource Centre (ERC) acknowledges the 30 day intensive mobile
voter registration exercise conducted by ZEC which commenced
on the 10th of June 2013 and ended on the 9th of July 2013.
civil and voter registration provided an opportunity for prospective
voters to acquire new and lost identification documents, register
to vote and inspect the voters roll. However, the process itself
was fraught with logistical and technical challenges which impeded
the registration of all prospective registrants.
While the mobile
registration exercise started slowly at the beginning, huge numbers
of applicants visited the various centers for registration during
the second half of the thirty-day period. Notably the allocation
of mobile centers was largely district based contrary to the original
conception of a ward focused decentralization of registration centers.
received by the ERC, it is discernable that a number of prospective
registrants failed to successfully apply for registration as voters
by the end of the process on the 9th of July 2013. This was a direct
consequence of a myriad of challenges which faced the voter registration
exercise under review. Some of the challenges included:
publicity on places, time and associated requirements for one
to register as a voter.
voter education to encourage eligible voters especially youths
to locate the importance of voting.
of registration centers to people living with disabilities, the
elderly or pregnant women.
application of provisions for voter registration- Some registration
officials would accept affidavits as proof of residency whilst
other officials at different centers were seen turning away voters
on the basis of their failure to show proof of residence.
- General lethargic
service – ERC observers also noted a combination of unprofessional
conduct and disturbing lack of urgency by certain registration
officials in some centers resulting in long winding queues at
various centers throughout the country.
culminated in long queues remaining even a few hours before the
exercise ended. An aggregation of the foregoing challenges directly
forced some potential voters to involuntarily withdraw from pursuing
their interest to participate in the electoral process. Evidently
a lot more people failed to register as voters even following ZEC`s
“extension” of the exercise by about 5 hours to 12 midnight
on the last day of the mobile registration exercise.
As the process
for registering voters has been closed, it is important for ZEC
and associated stakeholders to continue cherishing the principles
of comprehensiveness and inclusiveness of the voter registration
process. Lessons from the previous voter registration process must
in future inform ZEC that the provisions for continuous voter registration
in Zimbabwe must run parallel to a similarly continuous voter education
process. Meanwhile, the ERC urges ZEC, civic society and political
parties to ensure that those who have registered as voters are adequately
informed to sustain their interest by participating in the polling
process as voters.
Visit the Election
Resource Centre fact
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