HomeLocal NewsLoosen voter registration conditions: ERC

Loosen voter registration conditions: ERC

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THE Election Resource Centre has (ERC) called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to further loosen some of the voter registration conditions to allow as many people as possible to register as voters ahead of the forthcoming elections.

Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi

The centre, a non-profit making organisation established in January 2010 to service the needs of election stakeholders in the country, said there was need to decentralise the registration process to lessen the distance between registration centres.

“Decentralisation must reach at least the polling station level in order to lessen the travelling distance as well as enable the elderly and disabled to have easier access to voter registration services,” the centre said in a recent statement.

Proof of residence, the centre said, was problematic in that most young voters had no houses in their names and there was also concentration of informal settlements in some areas especially in Harare.

“Requirements such as proof of residence need to be reviewed, especially for urban voters and young voters who find it difficult to produce proof of residence, for example, in Harare South, there is a concentration of informal settlements and people are not able to get proof of residence,” said ERC.

It further called on Zec to increase mobile voter registration teams in densely populated areas to avoid the disenfranchisement of all those intending to register as voters.

Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau last week said there would be a new voter registration exercise in line with the new constitution after the earlier registration process was marred by chaos, with many people failing to register.

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