DURING THE VOTING process on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, electorate complained that they were confronted by observers of political parties to properly identify themselves before being allowed to cast their ballots.
SECTION 5.4 OF THE new elections law provides (Voting in Person)- “identification of Voter Every person offering to vote at a polling place in any voting precinct during any election shall state his full name and produce hís registration card”
“PRESIDING OFFICER OF the voter shall state all particulars necessary for identifying his name as appeared on the registration roll under which the vote is claimed. The NEC Presiding Officer or one of his assistants shall verify on the register that the voter is
registered and has not already voted at the particular election involved.”
HOWEVER, IT DOESN’T subscribe to party observers as propagated and demonstrated by the observers and supporters of the Unity Party (UP).
AS THE NEC and many voters complained, we believe that the Unity Party (UP) poll watchers were out of order and obviously invaded the privacy of peaceful voters.
UNARGUABLY, THEIR ACTION came as a violation to voters’ privacy, as it was also acknowledged by the National Elections Commission (NEC) midday Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
IN ITS PRESS statement, the NEC called on all poling staff involved in calling out voters’ names to desist with immediate effect.
LIKE WE BELIEVE, NEC says the act is against the polling and counting procedures, and it has the propensity to expose voters to undue scruiny by unauthorized persons, thereby jeopardizing the protection of the voters.
THE COMMISSION ADDS that it also compromises the secrecy of the veting process. With this- the Commission called on all poling staff involved in calling out voters’ names to desist with immediate effect.
“THE COMMISSION CATEGORICALLY denies and rejects reports that it has signed an MoU with political parties in this Presidential Run-off Election relative to the calling of voters’ names and checking their names against the copy of the FRR issued to political parties as this practice is against the NECpolling and counting procedures.”
IT SAYS- “THE Commission emphatically says that it did not issue any instruction to pre-mark ballots for the ongoing Presidential Run-off Election. All NEC ballots deployed to the magisterial offices and onward to the 2,080 precinct and 5,890 polling places remained intact for deployment for polling on 14 November 2023.”
LIKE WE DO not concur with said act, the Commission called on all poliical party agents, electoral actors and stakebolders to desist from getting involved in illegal and disinformaion campaign that have the propensity to not only undermine the credibility of the ciectoral process but to even threaten the peace and stability
MOREOVER, WE BELIEVE this act undermined the transparency and credibility of the process, and political parties must never repeat said action.