ZEC says voters roll in PDF format to avoid tampering, dismisses claims it’s not analysable

By Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has said it has no legal obligation to issue out a voters’ roll in excel or printable formats.

The commission also dismissed as false allegations levelled against it that the availed voters roll is not analysable.

A few days ago, the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) accused the electoral board of availing analysable voters roll with small fonts and many anomalies.

The CCC also said the voters roll was in a PDF format which does not allow a comprehensive search.

However in a statement Saturday, ZEC said the voters roll was in its format so it cannot be tampered with or altered.

“ZEC would like to dismiss as false, allegations reported in some sections of the mainstream media that the voters’ roll recently given to presidential and National Assembly Constituency candidates is not searchable and analysable.

“The voters’ roll is searchable and analysable as per provision of Section 21(7)(1) of the Electoral Act[Chapter 2:13].

“The provision permits the commission to format the voters’ roll to prevent it from being altered or tampered with.

“It is for this reason why ZEC has issued out the voters’ roll in its current format.

“There is nowhere in the Act where it is stated that the roll should be in excel or printable formats known to have compromised security features,” ZEC said.

ZEC also said the availed voters roll has voters’ surname, forename, ID number, gender, date of birth, address, polling station, ward, local authority, constituency, district and province columns excluding polling station codes saying they are not part of the voters roll.

“Polling station codes have not been included on the voters’ roll, because they are an administrative tool used by the commission to map out polling stations during delimitation hence they are not part of the voters’ roll as alleged.

“The electorate and other stakeholders should expect to see real names of polling stations and not codes on the voters’ rolls.

“The Commission would like to urge all stakeholders with queries on the voters’ roll or any other electoral issue to approach the Commission for clarification.

“They should desist from casting aspersions on the voters’ roll and other electoral processes as this may affect voter turnout and discredit the polls,” added ZEC.

The voters roll was released after a long period of complaints by opposition parties over delay which they say was a way to manipulate data.

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