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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
August 09, 2013
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.
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.
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
iii) Photocopies of national identity documents or invalid passports,
and drivers licences are not accepted at polling stations for voting
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
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
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.
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
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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