Today Zimbabweans across 28 constituencies and 122 local authorities head to the polls to cast
their votes for the long delayed parliamentary and local authority by-elections. The political
environment during the pre-election period was marred by issues of political violence, election related intimidation, and attempts to limit electoral competition through the restriction of campaign
activities. Voter information and education associated with the voter registration process has not
been comprehensive enough ahead of the by-elections. This shortcoming in public engagement,
when viewed alongside the administration of the two different voters’ rolls in constituencies where
there are concurrent elections for the National Assembly and Ward by-elections, has resulted in
confusion amongst voters in the affected areas. Stakeholders have also expressed concern over the
quality and integrity of the voters’ roll, which was further compounded by the delay by the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) in sharing the official voters’ roll for analysis.
It is against this background that Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (ZESN) deployed more than 400 trained and accredited election day observers. ERC and
ZESN are using complementary methodologies of mobile and stationary observers to assess the
election day processes at the polling stations across the 28 constituencies. Observer reports are
used to provide citizens and key stakeholders with accurate, independent, timely, and credible
information on the overall election process.