Use of ICT in Voter Registration, the Zambia experience

Database Administrator Mr. Chipakata Chulu (Centre) making a presentation on ICTs in Abuja, Nigeria

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) participated in an International Conference on Opportunities and Challenges in the Use of Technology in Elections: Experiences from West and Southern Africa at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria from 9th to 11th April 2018.

The Conference was attended by Honourable Justice Mr Chairperson Esau Chulu, ICT Director Mr. Dylan Kasonde and Database Administrator Mr. Chipakata Chulu

The workshop was organised by ECOWAS Network of Electoral Management Bodies of West Africa (ECONEC) and Electoral Commission Forum for Southern Africa Development Community countries (ECF-SADC with the support of the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).

Mr. Kasonde said the overall objective of this Conference was to build and enhance the capacity of participants in the choice and usage of ICTs in elections for strengthening the credibility, integrity and transparency of electoral processes in ECOWAS and SADC countries.

The Commission shared the Zambia experience on the “Use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Voter Registration.
Database Administrator Mr Chipakata Chulu explained that it was difficult to develop a Voters Register without application of ICTs.

He observed that there have been many changes over the years in Electoral reforms, Legal requirements and other stakeholder agreements.

Mr. Chulu said that there was need for the Commission to have a Permanent Register of Voters with continuous voter registration.

He added that Voter Registration helps in planning for information for the downstream stages of the Electoral Cycle and encourages participation in elections.

“The voter register enables transparency and establishes a baseline for results which includes other issues such as delimitation, fraud mitigation, de-facto Citizen Identification. A registration process which embodies the minimum principles of transparency, inclusiveness and accountability. The holding of democratic elections requires that a State is able to compile a reliable voters list. There is a need to register and recognise citizens for electoral processes. The comprehensiveness of the voters roll, the proportion of eligible voters included,” explained Mr. Chulu.

He added that Voter registration was not just the technical implementation of an activity but a holistic political, administrative and practical process.

“A reliable voter register is a necessary pre-condition for free and fair elections,” said Mr. Chulu.

He explained that the voter registration process sets clear criteria for voter eligibility, guarantees citizens an opportunity to participate and enhance confidence in elections,”