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Electoral Amendment Bill, 2011
Parliament of Zimbabwe
June 27, 2011

View the Bill as amended, July 2012

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ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL, 2011

MEMORANDUM

This Bill will amend the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], principally to make the following changes to it:

(a) to incorporate the provisions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act [Chapter 2:12] into the Electoral Act and to repeal the former Act;

(b) to base the voting process at polling-station level, with voters obliged to vote at their nearest polling stations rather than at any polling station within their constituencies;

(c) to ensure that electronic copies of voters rolls are available in analysable form;

(d) to restrict postal voting to voters who are outside the country on Government business;

(e) to allow electoral officers and members of the Police Force and Defence Forces who have to be away from their constituencies on duty during an election, to cast their votes in advance of the election at special polling stations established for the purpose;

(f) to introduce greater transparency in the counting and collation of votes at all levels;

(g) to establish new mechanisms to prevent politically-motivated violence and intimidation during elections;

(h) to extend the jurisdiction of the Electoral Court;

(i) to ensure that the results of presidential elections are announced speedily; and in addition to correct anomalies and discrepancies in the Electoral Act.

In more detail, the individual provisions of the Bill are as follows:

Clause 1

This clause sets out the Bill’s short title and provides for its dates of commencement. Most of the Bill will come into operation when it is published as an Act, but clause 40 (which deals with the preparation of polling-station voters rolls) will only come into operation when all such rolls have been completed.

Clause 2

A Preamble has been inserted reciting the provisions of 28 (4), 34(3), 38(2), 100B(1) and 100C of the Constitution that deal with electoral matters; the Preamble obviates the need to repeat the functions of ZEC in the body of Electoral Act because these are quoted in the extract of section 100C of the Constitution that is quoted in the Preamble.

Clause 3

This clause provides a number of new definitions for terms used in the amended Act, including in particular “district”, “district centre”, and “district special voting officer” (to accommodate the new system of district level special voting for members of the uniformed services), and “provincial centre”, “provincial elections officer”, “runoff presidential election” and “ward elections officer”.

Clause 4

This clause will incorporate many of the provisions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act into the Electoral Act. The Commission is established under the Constitution, but the new Part II inserted by this clause will give the Commission the additional functions it currently has under the Zimbabwe Electoral Act, and will make substantially the same provision as under that Act for its membership, staff and procedures.

Clause 5

The effect of this clause is that the Commission will have to keep all voters rolls in both electronic and printed form, and that it will have to keep a consolidated national roll at its head office.

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