The Mutoko North Constituency by-election will be held on the 24th of November 2018. As part of its oversight role on electoral processes and elections, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), conducted a computer audit of the Mutoko North Constituency voters roll, to provide an independent assessment of the quality of the register. The audit encompassed assessing accuracy, currency / validity and comprehensiveness / completeness of the voters roll. This report thus presents the outcome of the computer audit.
A number of tests were conducted in accordance with an established methodology. The voters roll was compared to the 2018 Final Voters Roll (FVR), the 2013 Preliminary Voters Roll (PVR) and census data.
Overall the audit shows that there is a progressive improvement in the quality of the current roll when compared to the rolls used in previous elections especially the 2013 PVR.
The database used to store the data and the application used to capture the data appear to be having validation checks as there are very few mistakes in the capture of records. However, the fact that there is a duplicated ID number in the voters roll points to there being no unique constraint or at least a mechanism to alert data entry staff of the existence of duplicate records. There are problems regarding the accuracy of the dates of birth of individuals. This inaccuracy makes identification of multiple registered voters using biographical information more difficult.
There are no significant changes in the data presented for use in the 24th November 2018 by-election when compared to the data used in the 30th July 2018 election. This can be attributed to the short period of time between the two events. However, while the few changes recorded allude to the fact that there is an active process to add, update, remove and transfer voters – it’s not clear when biometric deduplication is executed. The case of the duplication of TONNY ZISENGWE (48-049846-S48) is evidence that the process is not run as often. The process of de-duplication should be run before each electoral event.
Finally, while the roll is largely representative of the population of Mutoko North since the differences between the actual registered voters and the projected registered voters is not significant – the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should strive to ensure that they reduce the gap between the actual population and the registered voters.
Based on the findings from the computer audit, the ZESN makes the following recommendations:
- The ZEC should ensure consistency in capturing addresses of registrants. The ZEC should refer to the Alpha list to maintain consistency.
- There is need to accurately capture date of birth of registered voters.
- De-duplication should be done often, in order to identify duplicates. The ZEC should provide stakeholders with a detailed report of the deduplication process.
- The ZEC should display the voters roll outside inspection centres for identification of non-residents and the deceased.
Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)