Election watchdog, Election Resource Centre (ERC) has urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to extend the days allocated for mobile biometric voter registration exercise and to decentralize the centres.
The exercise began on the 12th of March will run until the 21 March 2023.
In an effort to register new voters in preparation for the 2023 election ZEC rolled out the mobile biometric voter registration exercise.
The commission set up 4474 registration centers across the country’s ten provinces for the 10-day long exercise.
In a preliminary statement issued by ERC last Tuesday, the registration exercise is already experiencing challenges.
Challenges experienced since commencement of the exercise include- breaking down of machines, long distances, technically difficulties and loadshedding.
However, the election watchdog has suggested that the electoral management body extends the mobile registration exercise to make up for the problems encounter so far.
“ERC noted the establishment of the 4474 registration centres which is almost a quarter of the national polling stations.
“These centres are insufficient as potential voters and those who want to change polling stations still have to travel a considerable distance to reach these designated registration centres.
“Reconsider the number of days for the voter registration blitz exercise and the number of registration centres,” read the statement.
Furthermore, ERC has implored political parties and Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) to continue with civic education.
Time will tell whether the commission will consider extending the exercise and further decentralizing the registration centres.
Mobile biometric voter registration involves the use of mobile devices to capture biometric data such as fingerprints and photos of eligible citizens.
This data is then used to create a voter registry, which is later used during elections.
Zimbabwe rolled out the biometric voter registration equipment in 2017 ahead of the 2018 harmonized elections.