AU raps ZEC for excess ballots

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has been challenged by the African Union Election Observation Mission to account for printing excess ballot papers.

“It is the Mission’s hope that ZEC will accomplish the task of accounting for the ballots to the satisfaction of stakeholders and all interested parties,” reads a mission statement delivered this morning.

The Mission noted that ZEC printed 8,7 million ballots, 35 more than the number of registered voters – 6,2 million voters.

“This was significantly higher than international best practice of five to 10 percent and raises concerns of accountability of unused ballots,” reads the statement.

The mission further noted that a significant number of local government ballot booklets had only 99 papers instead of 100.

“The mission notes with great concern the high incidence of voters who were turned away at polling stations. Illustrative of this widespread phenomenon, in a polling station in Gwanda, Matabeleland South, 85 voters were turned away. Reasons given by polling officers varied from voters appearing at the wrong ward and names not found on the Voters roll,” said AUEOM.

The mission also urged electoral stakeholders to continue to communicate messages of peace and non-violence to sustain the reigning calm political environment.

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