Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Why does Electoral Commission of Zambia print ballot papers outside Zambia?

Electoral Commission of Zambia prints ballot papers outside Zambia because local printers have had no capacity to print ballot papers.

Q: Which article of the constitution establishes the Electoral Commission of Zambia?

The Electoral Commission of Zambia is established under Article 229 of the constitution of Zambia.

Q: Is Electoral Commission of Zambia independent/ autonomous?

Yes, the Commission is independent and not subject to the control of a person or an authority in the performance of its functions.

Q: Why does Electoral Commission of Zambia take long to announce and declare Presidential elections results?

Votes for all types of elections are counted and added at polling stations. Thereafter, Presiding Officers physically deliver these results to the Returning Officer at the Constituency totaling centre. After all polling station results have been received by the returning officer, results are then transmitted to the National Results Centre. Upon receipt of these results at the National Results Centre, a verification process is undertaken to ensure the correctness of the results received to avoid announcing different results from those announced at constituency level. When all constituency results are received, the Commission will then go ahead and declare Presidential elections.

Q: Why do election results from some urban areas take long to announce compared to some rural constituencies?

This is mainly due the number of voters at such polling stations. The higher the number of voters, the longer the time it will take to count and announce

Q: Does Electoral Commission of Zambia punish Electoral offenders

Yes. The Commission can suspend or disqualify a candidate or political party that breaches the Electoral Code of Conduct. However, if any criminal offence is committed during election campaigns, such cases should be reported to law enforcement agencies.

Q: Do conflict management committees convict electoral offenders?

No. These are ad hoc committees established to prevent and manage minor electoral conflict with a view of resolving conflicts in a mutual, peaceful and amicable manner. Conflict Management Committees have no legal mandate to convict electoral offenders.

Q: Who appoints the Electoral Commission of Zambia members of the Commission?

The President appoints members of the Commission subject to ratification by the National Assembly. They shall serve for seven (7) years and subject to extension of another seven years.

Q: Why is Electoral Commission of Zambia not decentralized?

The law provides for establishment of Commission offices in provincial Centre’s and districts. However this has not materialised due to financial constraints.

Q: Who funds Electoral Commission of Zambia?

The Commission is funded from the consolidated funds of the Government of the Republic of Zambia. The law allows the Commission to organise funds from other sources such as Cooperating partners.

Q: How does Electoral Commission of Zambia recruit Voter Education Facilitators (VEFs) and poll staff?

VEFs and Poll Staffs are recruited through media adverts outlining all the qualifications and other requirements. The candidates are subjected to interviews by independent recruitment committees comprising of Drug Enforcement Commission, Zambia Police, Anti-Corruption Commission, Civil Society Organisations, Faith Based Organisations and the council staff.

Q: Who is the Chief Executive Officer of Electoral Commission of Zambia?

The Chief Electoral Officer (Chief Executive Officer) of the Electoral Commission of Zambia is the person in charge of the day to day administration and management of the Commission. He/ She is an ex-official member of the Commission. He/she is appointed by the Commission.

Q: What is delimitation?

This is the process of dividing of the country into provinces, constituencies, wards and polling districts for electoral purpose.

Q: How is delimitation done?

Delimitation is done through consultative meetings at various levels with stakeholders. The resolutions of the stakeholder meetings are submitted to the Commission for consideration.

Q: What factors influence the delimitation process?

Some of the major factors that influence the delimitation process are:

  • History, diversity and cohesiveness of the constituencies or wards;
  • Population density, trends and projections;
  • Settlement pattern;
  • Geographical terrain;
  • Development prospectives
  • Communication
  • Vastness of the area; and
  • District boundaries.

Q: How many provinces are in Zambia?

Currently, there are ten (10) provinces

Q: How many districts are in Zambia?

Currently, there are one hundred and nine (109) districts.

Q: How many constituencies are in Zambia?

Currently, there are one hundred and fifty six (156) constituencies.

Q: How many wards are in Zambia?

Currently, there are one thousand six hundred and twenty four (1624) wards.

Q: How many polling stations are in Zambia?

Currently, there are seven thousand seven hundred (7700) polling stations.

Q: Which province has the highest number of registered voters in Zambia?

Currently, the highest is Lusaka province and the lowest is North-Western province.

Q: Why doesn’t voter registration go on up to poll day (why is it not continuous)?

The registration of voters is supposed to have a closing date in order to allow for inspection and certification of the register. These two processes cannot take place while voter registration is on-going.

Q: Why doesn’t voter education go on up to poll day?

Voter education is conducted until the poll day except that Voter Education Facilitators are withdrawn from the field as the poll day draws near. This is done for the safety of the VEFs because, during this period, political party campaigns become intensified

Q: Why isn’t voter education and registration done on a continuous basis and on a large scale?

This is not done on a large scale due to financial constraints. However, the Commission endeavors to undertake these activities at the voter education centre in the Lusaka Showgrounds.

Q: Why doesn’t Electoral Commission of Zambia conduct online voter registration?

The law does not provide for online voter registration

Q: Why does Electoral Commission of Zambia get the deceased voters’ cards during voter registration and where do they take them to? (Sometimes, the voters card maybe the only document a deceased person has left behind especially that, there is a portrait)

A voter’s card remains a property of the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Therefore, if a registered voter dies, the card should be surrendered to the Commission. The deceased voter’s cards are destroyed by the registration officer immediately upon being surrendered.

Q: Why does Electoral Commission of Zambia give us unpopular candidates we don’t want during nominations?

The Commission does not propose or endorse any candidate to contest for elections for any party. Political parties follow internal processes to adopt candidates who will then lodge their nominations with the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Therefore, the Electoral Commission of Zambia has no hand in the selection of candidates.

Q: Is Electoral Commission of Zambia responsible for educating people on how to vote?

Yes. The Electoral Commission of Zambia is mandated to conduct voter education.

Q: How many Voter Education Centres do we have in Zambia?

Currently one located in the Lusaka Showgrounds.

Q: What is the difference between political party election campaign materials and other materials that are distributed during campaigns that constitute an offence?

Campaign materials are materials that are branded in an effort to publicise a candidate or political party. Materials that constitute an offence include goods such as mealie meal, sugar, salt in order to persuade voters to vote in a particular manner or refrain from voting.

Q: Why doesn’t Electoral Commission of Zambia use E-voting and online voter registration?

The law does not provide for e-voting and online voter registration.

Q: Why doesn’t Electoral Commission of Zambia introduce diaspora voting?

The law provides for the diaspora voting and the Commission is currently exploring its implementation.

Q: What is the voting procedure?

In steps;

  • Voter must have the NRC and Voters Card,
  • Voter identified and checked there details in the Voters Register
  • The voter is inked with indelible marker
  • The voter is then issued with the ballot paper
  • The voter marks the ballot paper
  • The voter cast the ballot paper into the ballot box, and
  • The voter leaves the polling station.

Q: Who is in charge of elections in a District, Constituency and Polling station?

Electoral Officers as follows

  • In a District – District Electoral Officer (Town Clerk/Council Secretary),
  • In a Constituency – Returning Officer, and
  • Polling Station - Presiding Officer.

Q: Can one ask for a replacement of a ballot paper if he/she makes a mistake when voting?

Yes. A person can ask for another ballot paper if he/she has made a mistake or marked for a candidate he/she did not intend to vote for.

Q: Do prisoners in Zambia vote?

Previously prisoners have not been allowed to vote. However the current constitution provides for all eligible citizens right to vote, including inmates. The Commission is currently exploring modalities on how to implement this provision of the law.

Q: What is the difference between spoilt and rejected ballot paper?

  • Spoilt ballot paper’s characteristics
    • Torn by the polling assistant by the time of issuing,
    • Torn by the voter while marking on it,
    • Voter realizes that he/she marked wrongly,
    • Issued to a voter with ink stains, and
    • It is found in the polling station.

  • Rejected ballot paper’s characteristics;
    • Does not bear an official mark,
    • Has the identity of the voter, and,
    • Marked on more than one candidate,
    • Not marked by the voter.

Q: What is Verification of the Ballot Paper Account Form?

This is the process in which Returning Officers account for all the ballot papers issued to them by the Commission. They have to take stock of all unused, used and spoilt ballot papers for all the polling stations in the constituency. The summation of the mentioned ballot papers should be equal to the total number of ballot papers issued to the Returning Officer by the Commission for each type of elections. This does not constitute a recount.

Q: What is voting?

Voting is an act of marking for one’s candidate of choice and casting a ballot paper into a ballot box.

Q: What is the difference between a Mayor and Council Chairperson?

Mayor is an elective head of the city or municipal council while a Council Chairperson is the head of a district council.

Q: Can someone else know whom another person has voted for in a polling booth?

No. The law in Zambia provides for secrecy of a ballot, with exception of the blind who are assisted by a friend, relative or presiding officer.


Q: How are elections results transmitted from a polling station to the National Results Center?

Election results are moved physically from the polling station to the collation Centre (e.g. constituency totaling Centre) by the Presiding Officer, and then the Returning Officer verifies and announces the results to the public. After that the results are captured into the Result Management System (RMS) and transmitted to Electoral Commission of Zambia in Lusaka.

Q: Who declares presidential elections results?

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia declares presidential elections results.

Q: Who declares National Assembly and Local Government Election results?

Returning Officers from respective constituencies.


Q: How many Mayors do we have in Zambia?

Currently there are twenty (20) mayors;

  • Copperbelt province – 07,
  • Southern province – 03,
  • Northern province – 02,
  • Lusaka province – 02, and
  • Central, Eastern, Luapula, Muchinga, North-western and Western province - 1 each.

Q: How many Council Chairpersons do we have in Zambia?

Currently eighty nine (89) Council Chairpersons.

Q: How many elected Members of Parliament do we have in Zambia?

Currently 156 direct elected by the voters and 8 nominated by the president (164).

Q: How many Councilors do we have in Zambia?

1624 direct elected.

Q: In which court does a person lodge an election petition?

  • Presidential Election – Constitutional Court
  • National assembly Election – High Court
  • Local government Election – Local Government Election Tribunal

Q: What is election recount?

Election recount involves counting of votes upon being ordered to do so by a court of law during an election petition. In this case, the recount of votes of that particular constituency is done by the registrar of the court. Votes recount can also be done at a polling station if stakeholders are not satisfied with the manner votes were counted by a Presiding Officer.

Q: Who are the election stakeholders?

Stakeholders are individuals or institutions who have an interest or stake in the electoral process. These include;

  • Voters
  • Political parties
  • Election agents
  • Polling agents
  • Media
  • Faith Based Organization/Civil Society Organization
  • Uniformed staff (police)
  • Monitor and observers
  • Electoral Commission of Zambia

Q: What is referendum?

A referendum is a type of election in which eligible citizens are given an opportunity to directly decide on an issue or matter. The decision is either to accept or reject the issue at hand.

Q: What is the bill of rights?

Bill of right is a part of the constitution that outlines the fundamental entitlements and freedoms of citizens.

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