Security forces and civil servants who failed to vote under the special vote dispensation will now cast their ballots with the rest of the electorate next Wednesday. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission yesterday summoned political parties to deliberate on the fate of those who failed to vote where it was resolved that all registered citizens must be allowed to vote. It was resolved that the commission would address legal issues to facilitate the votes. Sources close to developments said MDC-T, which had been quoting Section 81B:2 of the Electoral Act that says: “A voter who has been authorised to cast a special vote shall not be entitled to vote in any other manner than by casting a special vote in terms of this Part,” concurred with others after it was pointed out to them that the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to vote. Those who applied to cast their ballots under the special vote were drawn from the uniformed forces, election officials and civil servants who will be deployed far from their wards on July 31.
Sources said all the parties agreed that there was need to give all those who failed to vote another chance as guaranteed in the Constitution which supersedes all other subordinate laws.
“The question in the meeting was what will be done on those who failed to vote due to logistical challenges that characterised the special vote and there was consensus that they should be allowed to vote. It was resolved that ZEC would look at the legal processes to facilitate that they vote,” said a source.
MDC-T has been quoting the Electoral Act which says all those who would have applied to vote under the special vote dispensation would not vote at the harmonised elections.
But legal experts yesterday said the argument was flawed because the supreme law of the land demanded that the State facilitates that all citizens who are eligible to vote do so.
They said Section 155 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe calls on the State to facilitate that its citizens who are eligible to vote are not dis-enfranchised.
Full Article: ZEC Allows Special Voting On Wednesday | ZimEye.