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ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL HB 6 OF 2017
ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL, 2017
This Bill seeks to amend certain sections of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] (No. 25 of 2004) to complete the alignment Of certain provisions of that Act with the new Constitution and to ensure the smooth running of the new registration of voters proclaimed by the President by Statutory Instrument 109 of 2017 (Proclamation 6 of 20 17) on the 8th September, 2017, which new registration was mandated to begin on the 14th September. 2017, and to end on the 15th January, 2018. A brief explanation of the amendments is outlined below:
This clause sets out the Bill's short title.
Clauses 2 and 3
Presently, sections 24(1) and 25(1) of the Electoral Act require a claimant for registration to pesent himself or herself at the appropriate voter registration office for a claim form to be completed on his or her behalf by a voter registration officer. To facilitate and speed up registration the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to make this form available even prior to the registration day and allow claimants to complete the forms themselves, unless they specifically ask the assistance of a registration officer to complete it for them. The amendments made by these clauses provide accordingly.
For the purpose of the new registration of voters mentioned in the introduction above, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is in the course of implementing a new biometric voter registration exercise requiring all persons eligible for registration to present themselves to a voter registration officer, fill in a voter registration claim form and have their biometric features taken. However, under section 36A of the Electoral Act, a person who has previously registeted to vote is excused from having to fill in a claim form, being only required to produce proof of identity to the voter registration officer. It is anticipated that unless this provision is removed some persons may refuse to submit to biometric registration , thereby compromising the integrity of the new voter registration drive. The amendment in this clause will repeal this problematic provision.
Presently, section 56( I )(a) (concerned with proof of entitlement to vote during an election) of the Electoral Act, entitles every voter registered on a ward voters' roll to vote in the ward concerned. However a proviso to that provision gives a voter whose name does not appear on the ward roll an entitlement to vote if he or she is able to produce a voter's registration certificate ("voters' slip") and pmofof identity. Such "voters' slips" have been alleged in the past to have been misused or abused by disentitled voters. It is therefore proposed to delete that provision.
Finally, this clause and the Schedule will effect certain minor and consequential amendments to the Electoral Act, including the removal of the last remaining references to the abolished posts of the "Registrar-Geneml of Voters" and "constituency tegistra1S'
To amend the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:/31; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.
ENACTED by the Parliament and the President of Zimbabwe.
5 1 Short title
This Act may be cited as the Electoral Amendment Act, 2017.
2 Amendment of section 24 of Cap. 2:13
The Electoral Act [Chapter 2 : 131 (No. 25 of 2004) (hereinafter called "the principal
Act") is amended in section 24 ("Claims for registration") by the repeal of subsection 10 (l) and the substitution of—
"(l) Any person who wishes to be registered as a voter on the voters roll for any constituency shall complete the appropriate prescribed claim form and submit it to a voter registration officer at the appropriate registration office:
Provided that a claimant
15 (i) may request the assistance of a voter registration officer at the appropriate registration office to complete the appropriate prescribed claim form, and the officer shall comply with that request;
(ii) who. in accordance with the proviso to section 23(1), seeks
20 registration in a constituency in which he or she is not resident shall lodge a claim form with the Commission.".
3 Amendment of section 25 of Cap. 2:13
Section 25 ("Claims for transfer of registration") of the principal Act is amended— (a) by the repeal of subsection (l) and the substitution of— H.B.6, 2017.1
SCHEDULE (Section 6)
MINOR AMENDMENTS TO EI.FCTORAI- Acr [CHAPTER 2.•/31 (No. 25 OF 2004)
Sections 24(.3) and and (6), and (6). 32(2) and and 33(1), (2) and (5)
Sections 27(7), 35(1) and
Extent of amendment
By the deletion of ''any constituency registrar"
By the deletion of "constituency registrar" wherever it occurs and the substitution of "voter registration officer"
By the deletion of "the voter regist17tion officer shall direct the appropriate constituency registrar" and the substitution of "the Commission shall direct the appropriate voter registration officer".
By the deletion of "Registrar-General of Voters, any constituency legistmr" and the substitution of "any voter registration officer
By the deletion of "constituency registrar" and the substitution of "voter registration officer",