2014 Mozambique Presidential Elections:
General Report (BBC)
Alto Molocue, Zambezia Report
The District of Alto Molocue is home to more than 270,000 residents according to the 2007 census. There are over 50 voting sites around the district and three sites for the town of Alto Molocue, the capital of the district. Today, we visited one of three voting sites located at the primary school near the main government buildings and secondary school. These three sites serve an estimated population of 30,000 people. The voting process is as follows: you show your identification card and the election workers confirm you are a registered voter for that location, then they check your finger for ink. Once they have determined you are registered and have not voted, you are explained the process for voting and given your ballot. You then enter into a closed area where you make your choices and drop your ballot in a ballot box. Upon exiting, they cover your right pointer finger in ink so you cannot vote again. I tried to take a photo of the election tables inside the classrooms but was not allowed.
The observations we were able to take from the Alto Molocue voting location are as follows:
1. Everything seemed to be running smoothly, all election tables were up and functioning and about 80% of classrooms in which the voting occurred had queues.
2. Many people were saying that they were surprised by how low the turnout was. Saying the turnout for the Municipal Elections last year was significantly greater.
3. I was surprised at the large number of youth that were voting, including many of my current and previous secondary school students.
4. I did see election observers from The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa. They were very active, walking around the edges of the voting area and inside of the classrooms where voting was taking place.
5. No one complained of not being permitted to vote for any reason and most people voting were in good spirits.
6. There exists a significant amount of concern over potential violence, particularly in the major cities, based on certain potential outcomes of the election.
Overall, I was impressed by the efficiency of the election teams and by the overall feeling that voters believed their vote made a difference. I hope that the process in Alto Molocue and the rest of the country continues to run smoothly, fairly and peacefully.