via Zec urged to introduce biometric voting – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 14, 2015
THE Election Resource Centre (ERC) has called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to introduce the biometric voting system as a way of bringing efficiency and transparency in its administration of elections.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
In a report released last Thursday titled By-elections: A Microcosm of the Macrocosm, the electoral watchdog raised concern over the conduct of some political parties and traditional leaders as well as vote-buying and intimidation of citizens in council and parliamentary by-elections held early this year.
The ERC also called for the immediate realignment of the Electoral Act with the new Constitution.
“The introduction of a biometric voters’ roll that is supported by the collection of biometric data and the electronic capturing, processing, storing and publishing of the voters’ roll (is needed),” the ERC said.
“The early invitation of observers to observe the voter-registration process and allowing such observation to include access to the data capturing, data entry and data processing (is recommended).”
ERC called on Zec to partner with civic society organisations in mobilising communities to register to vote and inspect the voters’ roll.
The elections watchdog also called for the timely publication of the voters’ roll for inspection after the closure of the registration process, electronically and in identified and accessible locations in communities.
ERC acknowledged that administratively, elections in Zimbabwe had improved, but no progress had been recorded in the election environment and legislative framework as compared to international and local observer recommendations.
“Comparison of the election processes of 31 July 2015, 27 March 2015 and 10 June 2015 is intended to continuously monitor and track progress on three fundamental levels, administrative, environment and legislative framework,” ERC said.
“In doing so, the ERC maintains that little has changed from the recommendations of international and local observers in 2013 to date.
“However, administratively, there has been progress and this is commendable.
“The environment and the legal framework still remain largely unimproved.
“The ERC implores upon Zec, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Parliament to work on improving lacking parts towards free, fair and credible elections,” the report read.