ZESN’s Presidential Results Projection from Sample-Based Observation

/The Sample-Based Observation (SBO) Project is an initiative of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), the largest local observer group in Zimbabwe. ZESN is a coalition of 36 Non-Governmental Organizations formed in 2000 to coordinate activities pertaining to elections. Its major focus is on the promotion of democratic processes and free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. The organisation is strictly nonpartisan. ZESN observes elections so that citizens can exercise their fundamental right to vote and to provide independent non-partisan information on the conduct of elections to citizens, political contestants and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). All of ZESN’s activities are in accordance with the Declaration of Global Principles for Citizen Election Observation and Monitoring, the laws of Zimbabwe and, in particular, the ZEC’s Code of Conduct.

ZESN closely monitored the pre-election period in accordance with its electoral cycle approach to the observation of electoral processes in Zimbabwe. As such, 210 long term observers were deployed in the run up to the harmonised election to observe and report on the pre-election environment. In addition, ZESN also conducted an audit of the voters roll.

As part of its comprehensive effort to observe the 2018 Harmonised Elections, ZESN trained and deployed over 6,500 observers to every ward, constituency, district and province of the country. Out of these, 750 were Sample-Based Observation observers. The SBO is an advanced Election Day observation methodology which allows ZESN to confidently comment on the voting and results tabulation processes, including an independent verification of the Presidential results as announced by the ZEC. SBOs have contributed to systematic election observation efforts around the world and in 12 countries in Africa such as Cote d’Ivoire (2016), Malawi (2009 and 2014), Zambia (2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016), Ghana (2008, 2012 and 2016), Uganda (2011), and Nigeria (2011, 2012 and 2015). In all cases the SBO accurately projected the vote tabulation outcomes including presidential results.

SBO observers were deployed to a nationally representative sample of polling stations throughout the country. This random sample was representative in terms of the geography of the country, the distribution of polling stations and the distribution of registered voters across Zimbabwe. SBO observers witnessed the entire voting and counting process at sampled polling stations and recorded the official result as announced by the polling officials. By 12 noon 31 July, ZESN had received reports from all 750 sampled polling stations and had verified and analysed their data; therefore, this report is based on a 100% response rate.

Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)

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