The Election Resource Centre (ERC) as part of the efforts to observe both the 2022 voter registration blitz and the 26 March 2022 by-elections sought to conduct an independent analysis of the current voters roll as of the start of the voter registration blitz and for the constituencies having by-elections on 26 March 2022.
In conformity with Section 21 of the Electoral Act, ERC requested electronic copies of the current voters roll and the voters rolls to be used for the parliamentary by-elections. To date, ERC nas not been provided with electronic copies of either the current voters roll or the voters rolls to be used for the parliamentary by-elections. This is despite the requirements of the Electoral Act and a public statement by the ZEC on Twitter that stakeholder can receive a copy of the voters roll for a fee1. In the absence of the ZEC responding to ERC’s requests, there is a voters roll in the public domain that was provided by the ZEC on 31 January 2022.
While, the ZEC has disassociated itself with that voters’ roll, a ZEC statement acknowledged that the 31 January 2022 voters roll was produced by the ZEC. The ZEC statement raises the concern that the 31 January 2022 voters roll may be inaccurate and not up-to-date. However, all voters rolls by their very nature have errors, omissions and are, to some degree, out-of-date. No voters roll is perfect. What matters is understanding the nature of those shortcomings and how they change over time. Analysis of preliminary voters roll at critical junctions in the process, including in advance of a voter registration blitz or by- elections, not only serves to highlight issues in advance so that they can be addressed thereby enhancing confidence in the final voters’ roll, but also serves to demonstrate the steps taken by an election commission to improve the voters roll thereby building confidence in the organization.
As the 31 January 2022 voters roll was produced by the ZEC (as the ZEC has itself acknowledged) and in the absence of an official voters roll provided to ERC in response to formal request, ERC has conducted an analysis of the 31 January 2022 voters’ roll. The goal is to provide independent non-partisan analysis of a voters roll that is in the public domain and has been publicly commented upon. If the ZEC makes available an official version, ERC will redo our analysis of the official voter roll provided by the ZEC.
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