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Further information - Constitution Watch 18/2013
March 12, 2013
Referendum – Further Information
citizen who is 18 years or above on polling day is eligible to cast
a vote on presentation of:
- a Zimbabwean
national identity card or waiting pass showing that he or she
is a citizen,or
- a valid
Zimbabwean passport showing that he or she is a citizen.
Zimbabwean citizens still holding “alien” id cards –
you need to get a new id if you want to vote in the referendum.
If you have been become a citizen since getting your ID card, ZEC
advises that you visit the Registrar-General’s Office to obtain
either a new ID or waiting pass showing your Zimbabwean citizenship.
Your certificate of citizenship will not be accepted at a polling
station as proof of eligibility to vote in the referendum; ZEC acting
chairperson Joyce Kazembe categorically stated this on 8th March.
[ZEC has confirmed that it has specifically retracted its earlier
position that a certificate of citizenship, plus old alien ID, would
be accepted as proof of eligibility, as stated in Constitution
There will be
9 449 polling stations countrywide. Provisional lists of all the
polling stations have already been published as supplements to daily
newspapers – though difficult to read the fine print.The final
list must be published in the press at least 48 hours before the
date of the Referendum, i.e., before midnight on Wednesday 13th
March, which means it will have to be published in the Wednesday
papers. [Referendums regulations, SI 26/2013, section 6(4), which
also says the list must be published in the Government Gazette and
on the ZEC website www.zec.org.zw
– which, at the time of writing, seems to be inactive].
ZEC has said
that 12 million ballot papers are being printed. The plan is that
each polling station will be supplied with twice its estimated needs.
ZEC also has contingency plans in place for prompt delivery of extra
ballot-papers to any polling station showing signs of running out
of ballot papers. The Air Force will assist if necessary.
Times: 7 am to 7 pm
in the queue waiting to cast their votes at 7 pm will be allowed
to vote after 7 pm. There is also provision, in section 6(5) of
the Referendum regulations, that if a polling station cannot be
opened on time at 7 am, the returning officer will open later and
extend closing time to ensure that voters have at least 12 continuous
hours in which to cast their votes at that polling station.
ZEC will have
posters in every polling station displaying the Directions to Guide
Voters in Voting spelled out in the Second Schedule to the Referendums
regulations, which are as follows:
TO GUIDE VOTERS IN VOTING
1. A voter may
only vote once.
2. When a voter
has received a ballot paper, he or she must take it to the compartment
provided for the purpose.š In the compartment the voter must
indicate on the ballot paper whether or not he or she is in favour
of [here state the question or issue that is to be decided at the
If the voter
is in favour, he or she must make a cross in the rectangle opposite
the word “YES” like this
If the voter
is against, he or she must make a cross in the rectangle (box) opposite
the word “NO” like thi
3. The voter
must then fold the ballot paper so that the official mark can be
seen and the cross he or she has made cannot be seen.
4. The voter
must then go to the ballot box, hold the ballot paper up so that
the returning officer can recognize the official mark on it, and
must then drop the paper in the ballot box in front of the returning
5. A voter MUST
NOT sign his or her name on the ballot paper, and MUST NOT make
any mark on it that might reveal his or her identity. If a ballot
paper is signed or has such a mark on it, it will be considered
a blank ballot paper and will not be counted.
6. If a voter
inadvertently spoils a ballot paper, he or she may return it to
the returning officer, who may give the voter another paper.
by Illiterate or Physically Handicapped Persons
Section 14 of
the new Referendums Regulations states that section 59 of the Electoral
Act will apply [complete text of Act available from email@example.com].
This means that illiterate or physically handicapped persons may
be assisted to vote in either of the following two ways:
by person chosen by voter
or physically handicapped person will be permitted to select someone
else to assist him or her in exercising the vote. The selected assistant
need not be a registered voter, but must be at least 18 years old,
produce proper identification and sign a register. An accredited
observer cannot act as an assistant, nor can one individual assist
more than one voter.
by ZEC polling station returning officer
If no assistant
has been selected by a voter, he or she will be assisted by the
returning officer in the presence of two other electoral officers
or ZEC officials and one police officer on duty at the polling station.
of assisted voting must be recorded in the Protocol Register [see
officer of every polling station will keep a Voters Register recording
the name, ID particulars, date of birth and gender of everyone who
is given a ballot paper to vote at that polling station.
This is a separate
register in which the returning officer must record:
- the names
of persons who have not been allowed to vote because not eligible
- every instance
of assisted voting
occurrences within or in connection with the polling station.
remain secret after the poll
are not public documents open to later inspection. They are treated
as secret. After the counting of votes at the polling station, the
Voters Register is placed in a sealed packet by the returning officer,
as are the used ballot papers. The sealed packets are then placed
in the ballot box which is sealed in its turn. The ballot box remains
sealed thereafter. The seals may be broken and the contents accessed
only under the authority of an order of the Electoral Court.
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take
legal responsibility for information supplied
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