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ECZ to use SMS facility for voter verification

KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says it will use the short message service (SMS) facility for registered voters to verify their registration status.
Chairperson Judge Esau Chulu said this facility will be effective and enable many people check and rectify their details. Justice Chulu, however, said the commission will not extend the voter registers’ verification period when it comes to an end.
He said this in Lusaka on Friday when he addressed presidential candidates and stakeholders in the forthcoming general elections.
Justice Chulu said all registered voters are expected to check their details within the seven days window provided for by the law.
“After the close of voter registration at the end of this month, registered voters and stakeholders will be accorded a seven days’ window to inspect the register of voters from May 15 to 21, 2016,” Justice Chulu said.
He said the final voters’ register will be certified on July 31, 2016, to enable all eligible persons who will have turned 18 years by then to register as voters and participate in this year’s elections.
Justice Chulu said this is why the commission will provide an SMS facility for registered voters to verify their registration status.
“Please be advised that the commission will use the current register of voters (2011 register), for purposes of verifying aspiring candidates and their supporters,” he said.
Justice Chulu also reminded political parties that aspiring candidates and their supporters should only be those that appear in the 2011 register of voters as this will be the official register at the time of nominations.
“I urge political parties and aspiring candidates in particular to adequately prepare for the verification of supporters which will be conducted at provincial centres from May 19 to 23, 2016,” he said.
Justice Chulu also said in accordance with Article 52 (4) and (5), the commission has revised the nomination timelines to accommodate petitions that may arise from the nomination process.
“The revised nominations dates are as follows; for presidential candidates it will be May 30 to June 3, 2016, mayoral and council chairpersons, May 30, 2016, and for National Assembly and local government elections, May 31, 2016,” Justice Chulu said.

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