THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says during the 2021 elections, all polling streams will transmit results directly to the totalling centre without waiting for the combination of results at poling stations.

The move is aimed at increasing transparency, eliminating suspicions and achieving time efficiency, says ECZ chief electoral officer Patrick Nshindano.

In an interview, Nshindano said the polling streams which will be turned into polling stations will have their own General Regulations Form 20.

“The change will firstly enhance the time for processing and announcements of results, each stream converted to a polling centre will tally its votes and the presiding officer will announce the results and send them directly to the totalling centre immediately, it will also enhance transparency in that each converted stream will have its own results form (General regulations form 20) in addition to disaggregated data such as number of voters and votes cast,” Nshindano said.

“Previously, polling stations would have as many as 16 streams or more and the current system entailed that all these votes have to be aggregated at the polling station before being sent to the totalling centre, which took a lot of time but also raised suspicions because of the movements in the aggregation process,”

When asked if this would mean an increased number of election monitors from stakeholders, Nshindano said this would be at their discretion.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean more monitors for organised stakeholders who already used to place monitors in each stream but if the monitors were placed per polling station it means that they need to be per stream which now has been converted to polling station as everything will be concluded there and there will be no aggregating of the votes at the polling station as was the case.” Nshindano said.