Voter registration issues in Zambia
by Memory Mudenda
A functioning voter registration system is the cornerstone of any democratic system as it allows citizens to cast their votes for preferred candidates. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) conducted voter registration from 9 November to 20 December 2020. On 12 August 2021, however, it became apparent that glaring problems had occurred during voter registration processes in Batoka, Choma. Voters have complained that slowed registration processes caused by broken counting machines, as well as understaffing at registration offices, deprived them of their opportunity to cast their ballots.
Reporting as a journalist for SpeakUp Girls and Byta FM, I am a voice for the voiceless. I really wanted people to know what is going on in some areas. And giving the people of Batoka a platform to speak and at the same time reach out to their duty bearers was fulfilling. Voter registration is an highly important matter: In order to be able to determine a politician of my choice, I must be able to actively exercise my right to vote – but I cannot exercise this right if I do not get a voter’s card!