Postal Voting Application closes today #ElectionsZW
Application to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for postal voting has closed today (5 July 2023).
According to the country’s laws, applications for postal voting close on the 14th day after nomination court, at 12 noon. Zimbabwe held a nomination court for the 2023 general election on June 21, 2023, at various centres across the country.
Postal voting is a special voting that is designed for people who will be on duty on election day such as the military and police officers.
Those posted outside the country on government duty such as diplomats and their spouses also enjoy this special voting right.
However, since voting is not forced, the people designated to enjoy this type of voting, are required to apply to the Chief Elections Officer, highlighting their willingness.
What happens is that after applying, ZEC then sends those who meet the requirements ballot papers, which after marking their choice of candidates return to the election body.
The returned marked ballot papers are then kept and then allocated to the respective polling station to be counted together with the other ballot papers.
In previous years, there have been complaints that some people in the military and police would be made to vote in front of their superiors.
This has seen political parties and organisations demanding that there should election agents for the candidates when the people are marking the ballot papers from postal voting to guard against alleged rigging.
However, according to ZEC, persons who vote through postal vote neither vote at the polling station nor in the presence of polling staff and election agents.
Journalists have also petitioned Parliament asking to be included among the list of professions that enjoy postal voting.
The argument from the journalists is that during polling day, some of them are posted to areas far away from the polling stations where they vote from.
Zimbabwe uses a polling station-based voting system which means people vote at their designated polling station.
However, Parliament went into adjournment before finalising the matter.
Even the Electoral Amendment Bill that was before Parliament in the last few months, ignored the issue.-