WASHINGTON DC— Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede has turned down a proposal by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to introduce online voter registration, saying such a system could be vulnerable to electoral fraud.
MDC secretary-general Priscillah Misihairambwi-Mushonga had pitched the idea saying it would make registration for the upcoming elections much easier.
But Mudede wrote Misihairambwi-Mushonga a letter Monday arguing that “online registration does not have adequate checks and balances to detect electoral fraud.”
“There is a strong probability that some people will be involved in the abuse of passwords to register or transfer voters without their consent to deliberately distort and corrupt the voters’ roll,” Mudede said.
He also argued that prospective voters in the countryside would not benefit from such a scheme as they have no access to computers and the internet, hence his decision to reject the proposal.
However, political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya of the Liberal Market Solutions dismissed Mudede’s concerns saying they were exaggerated.
The voter registration outreach by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) failed to take off on January 3 due to lack of funds and poor planning by the commission.
The MDC formations and civil society groups are demanding a revised voter register, arguing the current one is replete with “ghost voters,” most of them people who are late.