ZESN says 2018 voters roll better than 2013

A Zimbabwe Electoral Commissioon (ZEC) official checks names in the voter roll register which critics say has been padded out with babies, the dead and bogus names in the past to help rig elections

The Zimbabwe Elections Support Network has given the new voters roll that was created by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission through bio-metric voter registration a vote of confidence following an independent audit it carried out.

ZESN is a local non-governmental organisation involved in electoral issues.

ZESN chairperson, Mr Andrew Makoni, said this year’s voters’ roll was an improvement from the 2013 one.

“Overall, ZESN finds that the 2018 voters roll received on the 18th of June is an improvement over the 2013 preliminary voters roll,” Mr Makoni said in a statement yesterday. The organisation said the audit involved field and computer tests to check on the accuracy, currency and completeness of the voters roll.

“ZESN’s audit of the 2018 voters roll had two components: field tests that involved comparing registration information collected from voters with what is on the 2018 voters roll; and computer tests that entailed analysing the 2018 voters roll for internal consistency and in comparison to the 2013 preliminary voters roll and census data,” said Mr Makoni.

“The 2018 voters roll was assessed along three dimensions: Accuracy (the degree to which the voters roll has errors); Currency (the degree to which the voters roll has been updated); and Completeness (the degree to which the voters roll contains all eligible voters).”

Mr Makoni said the audit did not identify any anomalies that affected a large percentage of the registrants.

“In terms of accuracy, the audit did not identify anomalies in the 2018 voters roll that affected a large percentage of registrants or were they concentrated amongst registrants of a particular area, gender or age,” he said.

“While no voters roll is perfect, a less rushed process would have allowed more time for ZEC to identify and address anomalies.

“The 2018 voters roll is more current than the 2013 preliminary voters roll as there is a significant number of new registrants, as well as more urban and young registrants and fewer extremely old registrants.

“In terms of completeness, the 2018 voters roll is more inclusive than the 2013 preliminary voters roll which was with generally higher registration rates – though registration rates for urban and young voters remain lower than those for rural and older voters.”

Mr Makoni said ZESN interviewed 1 518 individuals in its people-to-list test.

“Of these, 1 182 indicated that they were registered to vote,” he said. “ZESN was able to verify the registration of 1 043 (88 percent) of the 1 182 who indicated that they were registered to vote.

‘However, of the 139 individuals who ZESN could not verify their registration, some may not be registered to vote since many respondents did not have their registration slips with them proving that they were registered when they were interviewed.

“For the 1 043 individuals from the people-to-list test found on the 2018 voters roll, the surname, forenames, and date of birth they provided when interviewed was compared to the information on the 2018 voters roll. For 97,4 percent the surname matched, for 96,5 percent the forenames matched, and for 90,8 percent the date of birth matched.”

ZESN also said the data of the 5 683 936 registered voters was accurate in terms of identifying information that was captured during registration.

“All 5 683 936 (100 percent) registrants have all six pieces of identifying information and all seven pieces of information specifying the registrant’s polling station,” said Mr Makoni .

“Two registrants have National ID Numbers that are too long (15 rather than 14 characters) There is one registrant who will not be 18 by 30 July 2018, three born in the 1800s, 944 registrants who are 100 years old or older. 81 registrants (less than 0.01 percent) have duplicate National ID numbers. 4,693 (0.8 percent) registrants have the same surname, forenames, gender, and date of birth as another registrant.”