Abigail Mawonde, Harare Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said it has registered 5.43 million voters by April and has since established a centre where Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) data is securely stored.
In a statement on Wednesday, ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said access to the data centre was restricted.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has conducted Biometric Voter Registration where approximately 5.43 million voters were registered as at April 2018,” she said.
“The ZEC has an established data centre where BVR data is securely stored. Both physical and technical access is restricted to authorised ZEC personnel only.”
Justice Chigumba said the commission was currently correcting data entry errors made by the voter registration officers.
She said some of the errors found in the data cleaning exercise included voters assigned to the wrong polling stations, duplicate IDs and typographical errors.
Justice Chigumba said ZEC was also working on eliminating duplicate entries as well as the adjudication process.
“BVR is a method of registering voters which encompasses capturing of demographic, biometric and delimitation data.
The Commission will use the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to identify multiple registrations.
All records identified as duplicates will undergo an adjudication process to analyse and deliberate on the action to be effected.
However, an amendment on removal of duplicates has been tabled before Parliament through the Electoral Amendment Bill which is still under consideration,” said Justice Chigumba.
On the compilation and inspection of the Provisional Voters’ Roll, Justice Chigumba said the commission was looking forward to coming up with a provisional voters’ roll (PVR) this month and it will be ready for inspection from May 19-29, 2018.
“It is referred to as Provisional Voters’ Roll because it may undoubtedly contain some errors that the public may pick out for correction during inspection before it is gazetted as the final voters roll.
In fact, the inspection of the provisional voters’ roll is in itself a cleaning process as it will assist in removing errors related to addresses, date of births, wrong ID numbers, polling station postings and names,” she said.
Justice Chigumba also said an exemption list would be published and printed alongside the Provisional Voters’ Roll to educate and give registrants an opportunity to rectify any anomalies.
Justice Chigumba said the commission planned to make the provisional voters’ roll easily accessible through the use of bulk SMS and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) Code 265.
“The ZEC will send SMS messages to all registrants who provided valid cellphone numbers confirming their demographic data and polling stations.
She said the BVR technology was for voter registration purposes only and would not be used during polling.
Justice Chigumba encouraged eligible registrants to register at all ZEC provincial and district offices.