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Cablegate: Counting Process of Election Votes in Zimbabwe

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

271505Z Jun 00


UNCLASSIFIED PTO9821

PAGE 01 HARARE 03504 271502Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-01 DODE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 UTED-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00
P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 IIP-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/011W
------------------677B3B 271502Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6452
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS HARARE 003504

SIPDIS

AF/S FOR DIRECTOR ARLENE RENDER FROM AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PGOV ZI
SUBJECT: COUNTING PROCESS OF ELECTION VOTES IN ZIMBABWE

REF: RENDER/MCDONALD TELCON 6/27/00

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 03504 271502Z
1. (U) PER REFTEL CON, THE FOLLOWING IS THE COUNTING
PROCESS FOR VOTES IN ZIMBABWE FROM THE TIME POLLS ARE CLOSED
UNTIL THE RESULTS ARE ANNOUNCED:

-- THE PRESIDING OFFICER SEALS THE WOODEN BOX (ONLY ONE PER
POLLING STATION) IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LAST VOTE IS
DEPOSITED. THE BOXES ARE SEALED WITH WAX AND TAPE IN THE
PRESENCE OF THE POLLING AGENT, MONITORS AND PRESIDING
OFFICER WHO ARE REQUIRED TO PUT THEIR MARKS ON THE BOXES AS
A SECURITY MEASURE.

-- THE BOXES STAY OVERNIGHT AT THE POLLING STATIONS OR ARE
MOVED TO A CENTRAL LOCATION DEPENDING UPON SECURITY
CONDITIONS SUCH AS ELECTRICITY AND REMOTENESS OF LOCATION
AND MONITORS, POLLING AGENTS AND THE POLICE ARE ALLOWED TO
GUARD THEM.

-- THE PRESIDING OFFICER TRANSPORTS THEM IN THE MORNING TO
THE COUNTING CENTER IN EACH CONSTITUENCY. EACH CONSTITUENCY
HAS ONE COUNTING CENTER WHICH RECEIVES AS MANY AS 35 BALLOT
BOXES. MONITORS AND POLLING AGENTS ARE ALLOWED TO FOLLOW
BEHIND THE VEHICLE TRANSPORTING THE BOXES TO THE COUNTING
CENTER. THE MONITORS GENERALLY DO NOT RIDE WITH THE BOXES.

-- AT THE COUNTING CENTER THE PRESIDING OFFICER OF EACH
POLLING STATION BECOMES THE COUNTING OFFICER FOR HIS
STATION'S VOTES. HE OPENS THE BOX IN THE PRESENCE OF THE
MONITOR AND POLLING AGENT WHO HAVE TO IDENTIFY THEIR
SECURITY MARKS ON THE SEALED BOXES TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE
NOT BEEN TAMPERED WITH.

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 03504 271502Z
-- BEFORE THE ACTUAL COUNTING OF VOTES FOR THE CANDIDATES,
THE NUMBER OF BALLOT PAPERS IN EACH BALLOT BOX IS VERIFIED.
THE VERIFICATION PROCESS IS DONE ONE BALLOT BOX AT A TIME.
THE CONTENTS OF EACH BALLOT BOX ARE DUMPED ONTO A TABLE AND
THE NUMBER OF BALLOT PAPERS IS COUNTED IN STACKS OF TEN.
THE NUMBER OF BALLOTS IN THE BOX IS COMPARED AGAINST THE
TALLY FROM THE PRESIDING OFFICER. THE SERIAL NUMBER ON EACH
BALLOT MAY BE CHECKED AGAINST ITS COUNTERFOIL FROM THE
BALLOT PAPER BOOKS. THE BALLOT PAPERS ARE RETURNED TO THEIR
ORIGINAL BOX UNTIL THE COUNTING OF VOTES.

-- DURING THE VERIFICATION PROCESS NO ATTEMPT IS MADE TO
DETERMINE FOR WHICH PARTY EACH BALLOT PAPER WAS MARKED.
ONLY ONCE THE VERIFICATION PROCESS IS COMPLETED FOR ALL OF
THE BALLOT BOXES IN A CONSTITUENCY DOES THE COUNTING OF
VOTES FOR CANDIDATES BEGINS.

-- AFTERWARDS THE COUNTING OFFICER DUMPS THE CONTENTS OF ALL
THE BOXES ON A TABLE. COUNTING CENTER EMPLOYEES SORT THE
BALLOTS INTO GROUPS OF 10 AND COUNT ALL THE VOTES IN THE
PRESENCE OF THE POLLING AGENTS AND MONITORS.

-- WHEN ALL THE PARTIES ARE SATISFIED WITH THE COUNTING
PROCESS, THE FINAL RESULTS ARE PHONED TO THE REGISTRAR
GENERAL, TOBAIWA MUDEDE AT MUKWATI BUILDING, WHO ANNOUNCES
THEM TO THE PUBLIC.

-- MUDEDE THEN ANNOUNCES THE RESULTS CONSTITUENCY BY
CONSTITUENCY.

2. (SBU) TO OUR KNOWLEDGE THE GOVERNMENT GENERALLY FOLLOWED
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 03504 271502Z
THESE COUNTING PROCEDURES. WE ARE NOT CURRENTLY IN A
POSITION TO COMMENT ON THE RESULTS RELEASE PROCEDURES
FOLLOWED BY THE REGISTRAR GENERAL, AND IF ANY OF THE DELAY
IN PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT WAS CAUSED BY INTERFERENCE, RIGGING,
INFORMATION-SHARING OR OTHER ARRANGEMENTS.

MCDONALD

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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