The Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016 Section 80 states that the Commission shall provide Voter Education for an election. The Commission is mandated to provide Voter Education and information that will enable citizens to participate meaningfully in the Electoral Process.
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Voting day refers to a day when voters elect a President, Members of Parliament, Mayors/Council Chairperson and Councilors. It also refers to a day when a By-election is held.
A person can only vote at a polling station which is written on his/her voter’s card.A polling station is a place where voters go to cast their vote during an election.
Every person’s vote is secret and only he/she will know whom he/she has voted for.
In polling stations with a large number of voters, the polling stations are divided into two (2) or more voting streams with voters arranged in alphabetical order. At the entrance to the polling station there is an usher to direct voters to the right queue and room and also a large placard providing details of the streams.
Persons with disabilities or any other person who requires assistance to vote may be assisted by a friend, a relative or Presiding Officer. A person offering assistance other than the Presiding Officer must be eighteen (18) years and above and in possession of a Green National Registration Card.
|Categories of people||Types of assistance|
|Expectant mothers||Allowed to go to the front of the queue|
|Persons with disabilities||
|The aged||Allowed to go to the front of the queue|
|Illiterate||Assistance with marking a ballot paper|
The following is the procedure for voting on poll day;
It is a paper on which a voter marks his/her preference for a candidate or political party contesting for election.
The correct way of marking a Ballot Paper is with an “X”. The voter places an “X” in the square to the right of the candidate of one’s choice. (insert sample Ballot Paper)
Ballot Papers used in Zambia contain unique security features that make them secure.
A ballot paper becomes spoilt if;
A ballot paper is rejected if;
Before voting starts ballot boxes are sealed with numbered plastic seals in the presence of party agents and accredited monitors and observers.
|Election Type||Colors of Ballot box lids||Ballot papers|
These are offences that are committed during the day of voting. These include;
A person who commits any of the above offences will either be fined or imprisoned or both.
This is a process of allocating and adding up the votes cast for each candidate in an election. It is done immediately after the close of the polling station. At the polling station, votes for each stream are counted separately. The Presiding Officer/Assistant Presiding Officer and Polling Assistants count the votes in the presence of accredited political party agents, monitors and observers. No person that is not accredited is allowed to witness the counting in the polling station.;
The Presiding Officer/Assistant Presiding Officer records the number of votes for each candidate for that polling station/stream. The accredited political party agents, monitors and observers are expected to confirm that the votes have been counted correctly by signing on the results form. Copies of the signed results form are then given to each accredited person present in the polling station.Note: Candidates are allowed to have two polling agents to monitor elections in voting streams but one polling agent is allowed inside the polling stream at a given time.
The Presiding Officer announces election results at the polling station. This is done outside the entrance of the polling station. A copy of the polling station results form is posted on the wall outside the polling station for the general public to see.
The Returning Officer is responsible for adding up results from all polling stations in a constituency. The Returning Officer announces and adds polling station results as they are received. The totaling of results is done in the presence of accredited political party agents, media, election monitors and observers. When all the polling station results have been added, the Returning Officer declares the winners of National Assembly, Mayor/Chairperson and Councilor Elections. The Presidential results are also announced but not declared. Results are then transmitted electronically to the National Results Centre in Lusaka.
Presidential results are announced at the National Results Centre by the Electoral Commission as they are received from constituencies. Once all Presidential results have been received from all constituencies, the Commission Chairperson, who is the Presidential Election Returning Officer, shall declare the Presidential candidate who receives more than 50 % of the valid votes cast during an election as President-elect. Where no presidential candidate receives more than 50% of the valid votes cast, a second ballot shall be held; within thirty seven (37) days of the initial ballot. Candidates with the highest and the second highest number of valid votes cast in the initial ballot will qualify to stand in the election. Candidates with equal number of valid votes in the initial ballot will be eligible to stand in the election. In this election, the Presidential candidate who obtains the majority of the valid votes cast shall be declared President-elect. After the election, full results are published in the media and on the Electoral Commission official website: www.elections.org.zm.
This is a process that allows citizens to approve or reject a law to be passed by the legislature. In a Referendum Voters are given the opportunity to directly decide through a vote on a particular subject matter. All eligible citizens have the right to either accept or reject a question posed. A voter is expected to choose Yes or No on the question given. This may be regarding a new constitution, a constitutional amendment or a proposed law.
This is the procedure to challenge the validity of an election when it is alleged that there was breach of the law. A petition is made to the court of law outlining the grounds on which the election petition is founded. In the Zambian legal system Petition grounds are set out in the Constitution of Zambia and Electoral Process Act.
Any disputes that may arise from the conduct of an election are settled through an election petition to be written by the aggrieved candidate before a court of law or an election tribunal depending on what the law provides.
Disputes are taken before the Constitutional court within Seven (7) days from the date on which the results of the election (first and second poll) are declared. The petition shall be heard within fourteen (14) days of the filing of the petition.
Disputes arising from National Assembly Elections shall be filed in the High Court and heard within ninety (90) days of filling of the petition.
Disputes arising from Local Government Elections for Mayors/Council Chairpersons and Councilors shall be filed before a Local Government Elections Tribunal and heard within thirty (30) days of filing of the petition.
A Referendum petition is the procedure of challenging the validity of the referendum when it is alleged that there was breach of the law. A petition is made to the High Court outlining the grounds on which the petition is founded within twenty one (21) days. A referendum petition may be presented by any person who voted or is eligible to vote in the referendum.