ZESN conducting independent audit of the voters’ roll

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as part of its oversight role on electoral processes is undertaking an independent audit of the voters’ roll. By definition, a voters’ roll audit is a systematic, statistical and scientific assessment of the quality of the voters’ roll.

ZESN trained and deployed 90 field supervisors and enumerators across Zimbabwe to interview 2 744 respondents. ZESN interviewed respondents from all 10 provinces, all districts and all constituencies for the two tests. 50/50 gender quota was maintained. ZESN ensured quality control when field work was being conducted.

ZESN conducted the people-to-list and list-to-people field tests. The people-to-list test entails randomly sampling respondents and then verifying the details on the voters’ roll. The list-to-people method involves randomly identifying registered voters’ on the roll and then locating them at their given addresses. The two tests are also used to evaluate the accuracy of personal data, including name, date of birth, identification and address in the voters’ roll.

In addition to the field test, ZESN is also subjecting the voters’ roll to a computer test to assess both internal and external consistency. The computer test will analyse variables that include registration by age, gender, province and setting (urban and rural) by making comparison with national population figures. The test will also analyse if there are duplicates or multiple entries in the voters’ roll.

The objectives of the voters’ roll audit is to increase trust and citizen confidence in the conduct of the 2018 elections and to increase credibility of the 2018 voters’ roll. This follows discrepancies and anomalies in the 2013 voters’ roll which included duplicates, under-registration of youth and women, and under-registration of those residing in the urban areas.

ZESN is in the process of data analysis and a report of the findings will be shared with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and key electoral stakeholders. The purpose of the audit is to make an independent assessment of the quality of the voters’ roll in terms of accuracy, comprehensiveness and currency.

Accuracy relates to the rate of error in entering data on the individual voter, that is name, date of birth, sex and address. Comprehensiveness focuses on the proportion of eligible voters’ included on the voters’ roll. Currency focuses on whether the information on the voters’ roll is updated, for example through transfers for those who have moved to a new location and deletions for those who are deceased.

ZESN remains committed to promoting credible elections and will continue monitoring electoral processes and the environment.

Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)