Zec to embark on vote mapping exercise
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