by Tariro D. Senderayi
We are in full election mode and you will hear a lot of conversations and debate surrounding the voters roll. We have compiled 9 things that you need to know about a Voters Roll:
1. A voter’s roll is the cornerstone of the administration of a democratic election thus it should be accurate and up to date.
2. An ideal voter’s roll is one where all names which ought to appear on it DO appear and all the names that ought not to appear on it DO NOT appear.
3. It is the duty of ZEC to compile an accurate BVR roll and make available the roll for it to be subjected to scrutiny from the voter registration period until Election Day.
4. It is the duty of ZEC and not the Registrar General of Voters to supply copies of these rolls when so requested as per section 21 of the Electoral Act.
5. Section 100(C) (1) (C) and (D) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe endows ZEC the responsibility that entails maintenance and custody of the electoral roll for each ward, constituency and national.
6. At least one copy of the national roll and every voter’s roll MUST be kept at the ZEC head office and at least one copy of each ward and constituency voter’s roll must be kept at ALL the Commission’s offices within the constituency concerned. These rolls must be in both print and electronic form.
7. ZEC has the duty to avail all voter material to all political parties in good time including voter’s rolls. Imagine MDC in 2013 has access to the national voters roll at 6 pm on the day of polling.
8. An incomplete voter’s roll may disenfranchise those who are entitled to vote.
9. An inflated voters roll results in a false and increased ballot count which can be effected through ballot box stuffing, multiple voting or manipulation of the figures on returns. Thus, an inflated voters roll acts as a justification for printing an excessive number of ballot papers leaving room for electoral fraud.
Don’t forget to register to vote to have your name appear on the voters roll!