The Election Resource Centre (ERC) notes with dismay at the postponement of the Voter Registration Blitz scheduled to begin on the 6th of December, 2021, which was aimed at “addressing under-registration and affording new voters who have turned 18 a chance to register”.
Voter registration is arguably one of the most important pre-election activities, as voter registration ensures equitable participation in elections, enhances voter turnout, and impacts on the delimitation of constituency boundaries. The importance of voter registration ahead of the delimitation process cannot be overstated as true representative democracy will only be achieved through equitable representation.
The voter registration blitz was important, particularly for engaging first-time voters and under-registered areas ahead of delimitation. COVID-19 has presented challenges to the administration of voter registration as the pandemic has greatly impacted the accessibility of registration centres and the inclusiveness of the process.
The voter registration blitz scheduled for December was an opportunity for ZEC to take advantage of the low COVID-19 infection rates, implement and test the effectiveness of the ZEC COVID-19 Policy on Electoral Activities and overcome the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
With murmurs of a fourth wave hitting Zimbabwe after the festive period, the postponement of the December voter registration blitz is a missed opportunity for the Electoral Commission.
Source: Election Resource Centre