By Correspondent

Voters in some parts of the UK will be choosing new councillors in 241 constituencies this May.

The elections will be used to decide who runs local services which include running schools, libraries and bin collections.

Mayoral elections will also take place in Bedford, Leicester, Mansfield and Middlesbrough.

In Zimbabwe the dates have been tentatively set between 26 July and 26 August.

The UK elections provide a test for the current Westminster government’s popularity ahead of general elections in 2024.

Having adopted an almost similar electoral model there are factors which the Zimbabwean government can also take up.

Postal Vote

Under the UK laws one is able to vote by post.

This increases the participation levels of the electorate.

In the 2022 by-elections voter turn-out in Zimbabwe was a paltry 35%.

According to Kubatana, “in Zimbabwe turnout is higher among those with lower income and those of lower education.

Blue-collar workers, rural voters, middle-aged and older voters and those with closer community ties are the most participants.

Inclusion of the postal voting system can help raise voter participation.

Use of a Proxy

According to the UK government, if you’re unable to vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf.

This is called a proxy vote.

Thus one can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including:

-being away on polling day

-having a medical issue or disability

-not being able to vote in person

Voting Without ID

Those without ID can apply for a free voter authority certificate, issued by their council but available via a central government portal.

Again, this increases the participatory levels for local residents.

According to a Guardian report, a running tally for central applications, which close on 25 April, shows that, exactly 37,000 people had applied.

However, it was fewer than 2% of the possible number of voters lacking ID.

With the issue of IDs a common problem in Zimbabwe this is another method which could be adopted authorities.

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