THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has introduced marker pens with ineradicable ink to mark voters during elections, replacing the finger-dipping method as part of a new voting system proposed to curb double voting. The new system means that voters would be permanently marked with marker pens that have inks that are not easily erasable, meaning a voter would only cast a ballot once and any other second attempt would easily be noticed and stopped by the commission.
Zec’s chief elections officer Constance Chigwamba said the proposed use of indelible marker pens in the voter registration system would restrain cases of multiple voting in the country.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is mandated by section 56(4) (b) to prescribe the manner of marking voters as a precaution against double voting,” she said.
In this regard, Zec intends to pilot the use of marker pens with indelible ink to mark voters in place of finger-dipping in the Chiredzi Town Council Ward 5, Binga Ward 1, Bubi Ward 15 and Vungu Ward 2 in upcoming by-elections.”
Chigwamba said the preliminary project would begin in the four wards next month.
“The pilot exercise will be carried out on April 2, 2016, the date of elections for Ward 5 of Chiredzi Town Council and Ward 1 of Binga Rural District Council while the same will be conducted for Bubi Rural District Council Ward 15 and Vungu Rural District Council Ward 2 on April 23, 2016,” she said.
“Stakeholders in the respective wards are encouraged to make the electorate aware of the pilot programme to complement Zec’s efforts in this regard.”
She said the new method of marking voters has been employed in other Sadc countries like South Africa, Angola, the Seychelles, Zambia and Namibia.