Registration of voters is the second steps in the conduct of any election.
In the past, the registration of voters was conducted simultaneously in all regions for the whole country whenever an election was to be conducted.
In 2000 there was an amendment in the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania which requires NEC to establish the PNVR. In this year (2005), NEC is in the process of preparing the PNVR which will be used for the first time during 2005 General Election and subsequent elections.
Entitlement to Register
Any citizen of the age of 18 years or above has the right to register as voter and to vote in any public election in Tanzania.
A citizen loses the right to vote if he or she is:
- Under a declaration of allegiance to some country other than Tanzania;
- Under a sentence of death imposed by any court in Tanzania;
- Under sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding six months;
- disqualified from registering as a voter for being convicted for corrupt offences in elections.
- Declared to be of unsound mind
(Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 Art.5.)
Schedule for Registration for the 2005 Elections
The Constitutional amendment of 2000 requires the establishment of the Permanent National voters Register (PNVR). The PNVR will be used for the first time during 2005 General elections and subsequent elections.
The schedule for registration can be found from the .
Registration Procedure at the Centre
- A person who wishes to be registered must present himself/herself to a Registration Assistant and apply for registration at his/her authorized registration centre.
- A Registration Assistant shall cause a person applying for registration to be photographed free of charge at the same Centre.
- The Registration Assistant shall complete the registration application form (Form No. 1) and sign.
- The registered voter shall sign and thumb prints the registration application form (Form No. 1) and shall also sign or thumb print the voterís card.
- The Registration Assistant shall fix one photograph on the Optical Mark Reader (OMR) Form and another photograph on the voterís card.
- The Registration Assistant shall laminate the voterís card bearing voterís photograph and immediately issue it to the registered voter.
- The Registration Assistant shall forward the completed Optical Mark Reader (OMR) forms to the Registration Officer who will then forward the same to NEC for processing.
At the registration centres political party agents are invited to witness the whole registration processes.
Rejection and Determination of an Application for Registration
- If the Applicant is not qualified to be registered, the Registration Assistant shall refuse to register the applicant. If the applicant is not satisfied with the refusal, upon request the Registration Assistant shall fill in form No. 3 and direct the applicant to appeal to a Registration Officer.
- If the Registration Officer upholds the decision of the Registration Assistant, he/she is required to give his/her reasons in a prescribed form setting out grounds for refusal to register the applicant.
- Any applicant aggrieved by the decision of the Registration Officer may within fourteen days appeal against that decision to a District Court. The appeal must be submitted within fourteen days after the receipt of the Registration Officerís decision.
- The District Court must determine the appeal within 14 days from the date of submission of an appeal and forward its decision to the Registration Officer. In the event of a successful appeal, the District Court which has determined the appeal is required to send to the Registration Officer concerned a statement containing the name of the person who has to be registered or deleted from the register.
Establishment and Display of Provisional Voters Register
After the completion of registration exercise, the registration officer shall forward all the forms to the Director of Elections who will cause the preparation of Provisional Votersí Register. The Provisional votersí Register will then be sent to Registration Officer for display at the ward level. This will enable the registered voters to inspect the correctness of their particulars and avail themselves an opportunity to make objections for persons who are not qualified to be registered. The Registration Officer shall make decisions on the objections and make necessary corrections and forward the changes to the Director of Elections.
Procedures of Making Objection against Registered Voters
- A registered voter may object to the retention in the votersí register of his/her own name or the name of another person on the ground that such person is not qualified or is no longer qualified to be registered as a voter or that such a person is dead.
- The Registration Officer has to send the notice of objections to the people whose inclusion in the roll has been objected within seven days after receiving the objections, and require such persons to give written explanation.
- The Registration Officer is required to issue to all the parties concerned, seven days notice specifying the time, the date and the place at which their objection will be heard.
- The Registration Officer is required to hold a public inquiry into all objections which have been made within seven days.
- The Registration Officer is required to decide on the objection within seven days from the last day of the issuance of the notice of inquiry.
- Any person aggrieved by the Registration Officerís decision may appeal to the District Court within fourteen days.
- The District Court must hear and determine the appeal in public within fourteen days, from the date of submission of the appeal. The decision of the District Court shall be final and conclusive.
Production of the final Permanent National Voters Register
After the changes have been effected the final register will be produced for 2005 General Elections and subsequent elections. The updating of the register will be carried out continuously as it will be determined by the Commission.
Offences and Penalties in Relation to Registration
In accordance with the electoral laws it is an offence for any person to:
- Intentionally give any false statement with the aim of procuring registration or Voterís Card for himself/herself or for another person;
- Present himself/herself for another registration as a voter;
- Present himself/herself for registration as a voter in a polling district while earlier application in another polling district is pending investigation;
- Forge or fraudulently deface or fraudulently destroy any Voterís Card or any official mark on such Voterís Card.
If a person is convicted of the above mentioned offences he/she shall be liable to pay a fine of not less than one hundred thousand and not exceeding three hundred thousand shillings.