Postal voting underway

Postal voting underway
Published: 13 July 2018
Postal voting for the July 30 harmonised elections is underway around the country as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has dispatched ballots to all those eligible to vote under the system, the electoral body's acting chief elections officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana said yesterday. He said the absence of ZEC officials in places where postal voting was taking place was constitutional.

The Electoral Act states that postal voting is available to individuals and their spouses who are outside Zimbabwe on Government business on polling day. Security and polling officers on duty on voting day are also eligible for postal voting.

"The postal vote process is underway," said Mr Silaigwana.

"We have indeed dispatched some of the postal ballots not only to the police but all those who are eligible, including those in foreign missions. Since we have already dispatched some of the postal votes, we are expecting them to be casting their votes wherever they are and we are now waiting to receive back the postal votes so that we can take them to the respective polling stations."

A ZEC schedule shows the postal vote ballots should be returned by July 16, 14 days before the polls as stipulated by the law. Mr Silaigwana said people using postal vote also do so in secret.

"After voting they put their marked ballot papers in an envelope and you seal it," he said.

"You take it back to your commanding officer or whoever the authority who facilitated that you use postal vote and that authority will bring it to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission so that we send it to the respective polling station. If we sent the postal ballot to you we mark on the voters' roll that you have voted through postal vote. It means you are no longer eligible to vote again even if you come to the polling station. At the polling station, the voters' roll will indicate that you voted through postal vote."

He said postal ballots were distributed from one point.

"They are distributed from the office of the chief elections officer only," he said.

"Anyone who wants to vote applies to the chief elections officer, not anyone else. It is important for our citizens not to be misled by those who are politicking. It is important not to always buy into desperate politicking by some elements who want to cause despondency. We need to be responsible. This is our election and we must guard against being used by people who are saying things which are not necessarily correct."

On the presence of ZEC officials during postal voting, Mr Silaigwana said: "There is nothing wrong with the absence of ZEC there because remember let us say someone is Darfur on peace keeping mission or someone is at the embassy in the United States, do you think ZEC can be in all those places?"

MDC-Alliance Mr Tendai Biti yesterday rushed to convene a press conference after gathering that some members of the police who will be on duty on the polling day were voting in Bulawayo.

- the herald
Tags: ZEC,


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