21 June 2008

Zimbabwe: ZEC Gazettes New Election Regulations

Harare — The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has gazetted new regulations governing the collation of polling station returns and aggregation of ordinary postal ballots by ward election officers and constituency election officers ahead of next week's presidential run-off.

Under the regulations that were published in an extraordinary Government Gazette yesterday, there shall be ward election officers whose role shall be to collate the polling station returns and to count the postal ballots, if any.

The ward election officer shall give reasonable notice in writing to each candidate or election agent of the time and place where the verification and collation of polling station returns took place. They shall verify the postal ballot by completing part A of the V24 forms, unseal the postal ballot box and having counted the postal ballot papers record the result by completing part B of the V24 forms. The forms contain the number of votes garnered by candidates, serial numbers of ballot papers and the number of ballot papers. Furthermore, the ward election officer shall verify receipt of polling station returns by filling the appropriate spaces provided in the V23A forms before adding the number of votes received by each candidate as shown in each polling station return. Under the regulations, constituency elections officers shall verify the receipt of polling station returns per ward by filling in the appropriate spaces provided at the top of V23B forms.

They will indicate the number of postal ballots received by each candidate in each ward by filling in V23B forms before adding the number of votes received by each candidate. Zimbabweans go to the polls next Friday to vote in a presidential run-off pitting President Mugabe of Zanu-PF and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The run-off will be held concurrently with House of Assembly by-elections in Gwanda South, Pelandaba-Mpopoma and Redcliff.

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