Zec to em­bark on vote map­ping ex­er­cise

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

THE Zim­babwe Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (Zec) will soon em­bark on a na­tional map­ping ex­er­cise that will see voters be­ing re­stricted to vot­ing at one polling sta­tion.

Zec chair­per­son Jus­tice Rita Maka­rau told Chron­i­cle yes­ter­day that the na­tional map­ping ex­er­cise to be con­ducted next month is meant to iden­tify house­holds that will fall un­der an iden­ti­fied polling sta­tion in a ward.

“What we’re try­ing to do is try­ing to reg­is­ter voters at a par­tic­u­lar polling sta­tion. The ex­er­cise is to de­mar­cate house­holds or street ad­dresses that should fit into a polling sta­tion in any given ward,” said Jus­tice Maka­rau.

The idea of a polling sta­tion based voters’ roll was mooted in 2011. If it is im­ple­mented, a voter will only vote at the polling sta­tion at which his or her name ap­pears on the roll. This will be a de­par­ture from the sys­tem now whereby voters are free to cast their vote at any polling sta­tion within their wards.

Zec had a trial run of the lo­calised vot­ing in the Maron­dera Cen­tral by-elec­tion in Septem­ber last year.

Jus­tice Maka­rau said the na­tional map­ping ex­er­cise will elim­i­nate the pos­si­bil­ity of dou­ble vot­ing.

“This will mean our queues will be much shorter be­cause our thresh­old will be be­tween 500 to 1 500 voters. So be­tween 500 and 1 500 peo­ple will be vot­ing within a polling sta­tion. It will also avoid mul­ti­ple vot­ing be­cause in­di­vid­u­als will only vote in one polling sta­tion. You’ll vote in one polling sta­tion and you can’t vote at an­other. Mul­ti­ple vot­ing will also be elim­i­nated,” she said.

Jus­tice Maka­rau said map­ping is part of the re­forms that Zec wants to in­tro­duce as the coun­try pre­pares for the 2018 gen­eral elec­tions.

She said they are also keen on in­tro­duc­ing bio­met­ric voter registration be­fore 2018 elec­tions and in­deli­ble ink mark­ing. “We’re also go­ing to in­tro­duce bio­met­ric vot­ing in ad­di­tion to polling sta­tions specifics. In­stead of dip­ping your fin­gers in that red ink we will also be using a marker pen to mark your fin­gers,” said Jus­tice Maka­rau. — @nqot­shili

Jus­tice Rita Maka­rau

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