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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • 2013 harmonised elections: Analysis of turned away and assisted voters based on provisional figures submitted in the absence of protocol registers
    Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
    August 09, 2013

    Many factors are attributed to the statistics of turned away and assisted voters. However, the analysis below attempts to categorise the main factors replicate across all constituencies.

    Turned away voters

    a) Voters not appearing in the voters roll at the polling station

    i) This could result from registered voters who, after moving to a different location or residential address outside their original wards where they are registered as voters do not affect transfers. Some of these voters eventually go to their correct wards and vote.
    ii) Some turned away voters not on the voters’ roll could simply be unregistered. Voter registration in Zimbabwe is not compulsory, however, due to peer pressure during elections, some unregistered persons also turn-up at polling stations to present a semblance of compliance with the national programme of elections.

    b) Improper documents

    i) Voters may be turned away for not bringing identity cards or valid passports to prove their identity
    ii) Expired passports, torn or illegal documents all lead to turned-away voters
    iii) Photocopies of national identity documents or invalid passports, and drivers licences are not accepted at polling stations for voting purposes
    Some of these voters go back home and collect documents and go back to vote at the original or another polling station in the same ward.

    c) Under age persons

    Some under age persons who turn 18 years of age after the closure of the voters roll may turn-up at polling stations and are subsequently turned away because they will not appear on the voters roll

    d) Registered voters after close of voters roll

    While the registration of voters in law is continuous, the voters’ roll now closes a few days after the date of nomination. Some voters that register after the closure of the voters roll invariably turn-up at polling stations but are turned away because of late registration.

    Assisted voters

    The main reasons for the assisted voters are:

    a) Old age – There was a high turnout of the old aged people in this election which category has a high illiteracy rate
    b) Illiteracy
    c) Blindness
    d) Physically handicapped


    While not as much can be done about the status of those who get assisted, the turned away however, can be reduced in some of the following ways;

    i) Effective and continuous voter education by the Commission throughout the electoral cycle to educate the electorate especially in urban areas about their wards and ward boundaries with enough voter educators per ward.
    ii) Effective and continuous voter education to the electorate to use/take the correct documentation to polling stations.
    iii) Eligible voters can be encouraged to register as voters in time to reduce the number of late registrants.
    iv) The ZEC encourage all eligible Zimbabwean citizens to register as voters in order to avoid the inconvenience of being turned away on Election Day.

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