Zec starts cleaning voters' roll

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has begun correcting data entry errors made by the voter registration officers on a new voter register ahead of the 2018 presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections.

Zec has conducted biometric voter registration (BVR) where approximately 5,43 million voters were registered as at April 2018 for an eagerly awaited election scheduled for July or August.

Zec said examples of the errors found in the data cleaning exercise include voters assigned to the wrong polling stations, duplicate IDs and typographical error compiling.

Zec will use the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to identify multiple registrations.

“All records identified as duplicates will undergo an adjudication process to analyse and deliberate on the action to be effected,” Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said in an update issued yesterday.

“However, an amendment on removal of duplicates has been tabled before Parliament through the Electoral Amendment Bill which is still under consideration.”

She said the commission is looking forward to come up with a Provisional Voters’` Roll (PVR) in the month of May 2018 which will be ready for inspection from May 19-29, 2018.

“It is referred to as Provisional Voters’` Roll because it may undoubtedly contain some errors that the public may pick out for correction during inspection before it is gazetted as the final voters’ roll,” Chigumba said.

“In fact, the inspection of the Provisional Voters’ Roll is in itself a cleaning process as it will assist in removing errors related to addresses, dates of birth, wrong ID numbers, polling station postings and names. An exemption list shall be published and printed alongside the Provisional Voters’ Roll to educate and give registrants an opportunity to rectify any anomalies.”

Chigumba said the Commission will display polling station specific Provisional Voters’ Rolls at all established polling stations where all those who registered from September 14, 2017 to April 6, 2018 are encouraged to confirm their registration and their details during the inspection period.

“Continuous voter registration during inspection will be at provincial, district and ward centres,” she said, adding the Commission plans to make the Provisional Voters’` Roll easily accessible through the use of Bulk SMS.

“The Zec will send sms messages to all registrants who provided valid cellphone numbers confirming their demographic data and polling stations.

“Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) Code 265 USSD is a protocol used by cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider’s computers, including a prepaid call-back service which is what the Zec will use up to Election Day,” she said.

Chigumba clarified that the BVR technology for now is for voter registration purposes only and will not be used during polling.

“The Commission is therefore encouraging eligible registrants to register at all Zec provincial and district offices,” she said.

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