Voting by post or external voting

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A person to whom a postal ballot has been sent shall—

(a) signify the candidate for whom he or she wishes to vote by secretly placing on the ballot paper a cross in accordance with section 91(c)(ii); and

 

(b) then place the marked ballot paper in the envelope marked “Ballot Paper Envelope”, effectively close that envelope and then place it in the covering envelope addressed to the Commission; and

 

(c) dispatch the covering envelope to the Commission by either—

 

(i) registered post or by a commercial courier service or diplomatic courier; or

(ii) any other means as may be prescribed; so that it is received by the Commission not later than noon on the fourteenth day before polling day or the first polling day, as the case may be, in the election.

 

(2) Where more than one election is being held concurrently in a constituency and the voter marks more than one ballot paper, he or she shall place each of the marked ballot papers in a separate envelope marked “Ballot Paper Envelope” and place those envelopes in a single covering envelope addressed to the Commission.

(3) External voting shall be conducted in such manner as may be prescribed and—

 

(a) the voter shall comply with subsection (2); and

(b) the external ballot papers shall be despatched to the Commission by a commercial courier service, or diplomatic courier or any other means as may be prescribed so that it is received by the Commission not later than noon on the fourteenth day before polling day or the first polling day, as the case may be, in the election.

 

Distribution of postal and external ballots by Chief Elections Officer and ward

elections officers

 

(1) Upon receipt of a covering envelope dispatched in terms of section 110, the Commission shall cause it to be opened and the enclosed ballot paper envelope to be dispatched, unopened, to the constituency elections officer for the constituency indicated on the back of the envelope.

 

(2) Whenever the Commission sends a ward elections officer one or more ballot paper envelopes it shall send an accompanying note indicating the number of envelopes that are sent.

 

(3) The Commission shall keep a list of all covering envelopes received, showing—

 

(a) the date on which they were received; and

(b) the names and voter registration numbers of the voters who sent them; and

(c) the constituencies to which the ballot paper envelopes were sent and the dates on which they were sent; and shall permit the list to be inspected by members of the public, free of charge, until the declaration of

the result of the poll, when it shall be dealt with in terms of section 106(3).

 

(4) The Commission shall ensure that each constituency elections officer receives the ballot paper envelopes sent to him or her at least seven days before the polling day or the first polling day, as the case may be, in the election concerned.

 

(5) Upon receipt of the ballot paper envelopes dispatched in terms of subsection (4), the

constituency elections officer shall forthwith distribute each ballot paper envelope to the presiding officer of the polling station indicated on the back of the envelope, together with an accompanying note indicating the number of envelopes that are sent.

 

(6) The constituency elections officer shall ensure that the appropriate presiding officer receives the ballot paper envelopes sent to him or her at least two days before the polling day or the first polling day, as the case may be, in the election concerned.

 

Offences in relation to postal or external votes

 

(1) A person who attempts to induce any other person to obtain a postal or external ballot paper with the intention of influencing him or her by bribery or intimidation to record his or her vote in favour of a particular candidate shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment and, in addition to any such punishment, may, if he or she is convicted of that offence by the High Court, be declared by the High Court to be disqualified from voting at any election for a period not exceeding five years.

 

(2) Any person who—

 

(a) makes or induces any other person to make a false statement in an application for a postal or external ballot paper; or

 

(b) fails to deliver, post or otherwise despatch forthwith an envelope containing or purporting to contain a postal or external ballot paper entrusted to him or her by a voter for the purpose of delivering, posting or despatching it to the Commission; shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

-ZESN 

 

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) formed in 2000 is a coalition of 36 non-governmental organisations formed to co-ordinate activities pertaining to elections. The major focus of the Network is to promote democratic processes in general and free and fair elections in particular.

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