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ZEC: Voters Were Turned Away in Huge Numbers

Voters queue to cast their ballots on July 31, 2013. ZEC says more than 300,000 voters across the country were turned away.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commision (ZEC) says that nearly 305,000 voters were turned away on July 31st, and that 207,000 voters were "assisted" to cast their ballots.

These official figures may support claims from Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that the vote was marred by massive fraud.

Mr. Tsvangirai's party is planning to file court applications against the results of the presidential and parliamentary votes.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), which says it had around 7,000 observers on election day, goes even further and claims that about one million voters were "systematically disenfranchised" by being removed from the voters' roll or denied entry to polling places.

The final, official voters' roll was released only on election day. Since then, the MDC says it has found 838,000 entries with the same name, address and date of birth but different ID numbers, 350,000 people who are more than 85 years old and 109,000 people aged over 100.

President Robert Mugabe, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamas, and other Zanu-PF officials have dismissed criticism of the polls.