Transparency in Results Aggregation, Transmission, and Publication Essential

The Election Situation Room calls on ZEC to ensure sufficient transparency is provided on the results aggregation, tabulation and publication processes. The ESR is calling for a verifiable method of results tabulation. Furthermore ZEC needs to create an independent results transmission method. Such a move will provide much needed assurance on the visibility and trust in the ZEC results process.
 
In order to meet its legal obligation to present the Zimbabwean electorate with a transparent Presidential return and not simply a tabulated total figure, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should publicly release the spreadsheet containing the Presidential election results from each polling station underpinning the aggregated total Presidential results from the July 30th election. ZEC has a dedicated official website and there are no IT-related challenges to uploading such a spreadsheet to its website at the very same time as it announces the tabulated aggregated result to its citizens. This level of transparency is in compliance with Zimbabwean law and fully in line with Zimbabwe’s regional and continental commitments to democratic elections.
 
Political parties and Observer organizations need to be able to check and verify that the tallied results match the results collected by their agents and observers at the polling centers in order to provide confidence in the results. There is a serious risk of non-acceptance of the results if stakeholders are unable to verify tallying.
 
Background
 
The official poll worker manual issued by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) clearly outlines how the Presidential results form (V.11) will be filled out at every polling station across the country immediately after the close of poll. Subsequently, Form V.11 will be transported by the Presiding Officer to the Ward Collation Centre where the Ward Elections Officer will collate results from each polling station onto Form V23A. The original V.11 Forms will be attached to the V23A. Once all polling station results have been collated the Ward Elections Officer will transport the Form V23A and V.11s to the Constituency Elections Officer for further aggregation of the results onto Form V23B. When all Ward Elections Officers have reported their respective results the Constituency Elections Officer will complete Form V23B and transport it, as well as all V23As and V.11s, to the District Elections Officers for onward delivery to the ZEC’s Head Office in Harare for processing.
 
ZEC’s Poll Worker Manual is currently silent on how the Commission intends to process Presidential election results at its National Command Centre in Harare. In fact, ZEC has to date not published any information regarding its results tabulation procedures at the National Command Centre
 
According to the Electoral Act (Art 37) the “final result of the presidential election shall, after reconciling the provincial returns with the polling station returns and presidential constituency returns referred to in the provisos to paragraphs (b) and (d) respectively, be reflected in a return that distinctly reflects number of votes cast for each presidential candidate at every polling station, ward centre, presidential constituency centre and provincial command centre”.
 
ESR members have deployed observers to observe the results tabulation process at ward, constituency, provincial and national command centres.
Source: Election Situation Room
 
For more information, contact the Election Situation Room on the following details:
 
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