Design and layout of the presidential ballot paper a cause for concern

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) expresses concern over the design and layout of the Presidential ballot paper which does not conform to provisions of the Electoral Regulations of 2005 and Section 57(a)(1) of the Electoral Act which states the candidates should appear in one column in alphabetical order.

The current design is split into two columns, of 14 and 9 candidates each, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has indicated that this design was done on the advice of the printers. However, ZESN notes that the split could have been done to ensure that there are 12 candidates on the one side and the remaining 11 on the other. The ballot paper as it is raises fears that it was designed to give the incumbent an unfair advantage.

In designing the Presidential ballot paper, ZEC should have adhered to the 2005 regulations which prescribe the Form V.10 as the design for the ballot paper. ZESN believes that it is important for the Electoral Commission to engage key stakeholders on critical issues such as the design of the ballot papers in order to safeguard the integrity and credibility of the 2018 election.

ZESN believes that ZEC should have ensured that the ballot paper design was in conformity with the law to avoid fueling allegations of partiality that could endanger the acceptance of the outcome of the election.

ZESN reiterates its calls for ZEC to adopt the Open Data Policy and transparency in order to allay fears and misconceptions around key electoral processes.

Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)

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