A new system that will verify election results in real-time to be legally deployed by CCC

Leonard Sengere Avatar
Long queue of voters in Zimbabwe's election 30 July 2018, voter registration online, MISA ZBC elections

Do you remember when ‘V11’ became part of our vernacular in this country? Feels like yesterday, right? We may use it as a placeholder for “Where is the proof?” now, but the time is coming when we will use it for its intended purpose.

The 2023 general elections are almost here, and this time we’re all aware of the importance of V11 forms. If you’re not, V11 forms are original documents that carry the results from a polling station and are signed by agents of all contesting parties.

The V11 forms are the source documents for the election results. If you had a chance to look at all of them, you would have the exact election results. If (it’s more accurate to say ‘when’) election results are contested, we will have to turn to these documents to resolve the dispute.

The recap was necessary to understand the story at hand:

One of the opposition political parties in the country is looking to employ this V11 form to ensure there are no shenanigans in the collation of election results.

CCC says they are deploying a Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) system dubbed the Citizens DemoVox PVT system. Parallel means it will run alongside the official vote tabulation system by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

This means it can be an accurate, secure and fully auditable tabulation of the vote, in theory. CCC says “The system ensures not only that we will have access to the real vote count, but above all, that we have the capacity to provide hard, independently verifiable evidence to back up our victory.”

Sounds like rainbows, but let’s explore it further to see what has them all giddy like this.

What is a PVT system?

CCC says it safeguards the integrity of elections by crowdsourcing, organising and sharing real-time monitoring of incidents and vote counts, derived from local, observable tabulations.

In simpler English, it collects data on the voting and counting process at each polling station, including the number of registered voters, the number of ballots cast, and the number of votes cast for each candidate. This data is then tabulated independently from the official results, and the two sets of results are compared.

How will DemoVox PVT work?

They say their polling agents and citizens will upload photos of certified V11 forms, as well as the tabulation numbers from each local ward. This should enable them to compile and share a comprehensive, accurate vote count that can be fully audited and verified by any independent actor, by tracing the numbers back to the original V11 forms.

Of course, the ruling party will have no problem with this. We are going to have free and fair elections and so it won’t matter if someone does their own counting on the side. It will all tally if we start with the same V11 forms.

Legal standing

So, ZANU PF won’t have a problem with it in principle but is it legal? CCC says “Agents of all competing parties are allowed by law to supervise and jointly certify the vote count at each polling station. Those certified totals compiled on “V11” forms must, by law, be publicly displayed outside each polling station immediately after the completion of the polling station vote count.”

They add that it is important to note that every aspect of this PVT program is in full compliance with the Electoral Act and all other applicable Zimbabwean laws.

So, DemoVox PVT might have legal standing. I guess the only caveat is that they can’t declare a winner. They can use their tabulated data to contest but it’s not recognised as an official result.

Boots on the ground

That’s legal standing sorted but what about CCC’s ability to deploy agents at all polling stations? That’s where the biggest question mark lies in my opinion. The DemoVox system sounds like a plan but fielding observers at every polling station has always proven to be a challenge for opposition parties.

CCC acknowledges this and says, “Despite challenging circumstances and limited resources, the Citizens are working hard to deploy agents at every polling station.”

It will be a challenge because they need to deploy 4 polling agents at each of the 12 370 polling stations across the country. That’s 49,480 people.

Not to mention that the system will have to handle at least 12,370 images being uploaded in a few hours. I’m guessing there will have to be some optical character recognition software employed to quickly capture what’s on the uploaded V11 forms. If not, plenty of humans will have to sift through it all, which sounds daunting.

Then the data will have to be dumped on some spreadsheet and sorted. All of this will have to be done in real-time.

There are logistical issues in ensuring the agents have smartphones with decent cameras so that the uploaded images are useful. They will also need data to upload the pics. It’s not a small problem to solve for.

There’s probably more to it that I didn’t even touch on. We shall see how it all shakes out.

Good to see

An independent system that verifies election results sounds like a good idea to me. Imagine the best-case scenario where the DemoVox PVT results are the same as the official ones to a reasonable degree. That would remove any chance of anyone contesting the results.

In cases of significant differences, we can zero in on the contentious wards and save time and effort. Whatever result DemoVox claims is true will have supporting V11s and it will be easier to reconcile the differences.

I don’t care which political party you support, you have to agree that if deployed fully and correctly, PVT systems sound like a good idea. They are not new by any stretch but the problem has always been the logistical challenge of fielding agents who capture V11s at every polling station. Will CCC be the ones to crack it? We shall see.


  1. Kuku

    V11 forms are very important!

    1. Comrad

      This does not work given our network type and this shows that these people don’t have exposure to some section on the country when even 2G network is a problem so how would you need to upload these photos and also being it high secure means there will be a high need for a fast network connection for making digital handshake an verifying connection for which good network is a nightmare in most of the Zimbabwean polling station to thus it will not work.

  2. Roger

    Jonathan Moyo argues in his book, Excelgate, that

    “… the only relevant election return for this purpose [determination of the result for the presidential election] is the constituency return, that is to say Form V23B. It is important to underscore this, given the misplaced deafening cacophony about V11s made by ZEC and Chief Justice Malaba during Chamisa’s ConCourt case. V11s are not the relevant returns in the verification and determination of the result for the presidential election. The relevant returns are V23Bs, the presidential constituency returns. V11s come into play only when or where there’s a query about the result of a particular V23B.”

    The CCC MUST follow the V23s.

  3. SirChivz

    Tis is gonna be really interesting to watch it play out.

    1. Captain Jack Sparrow

      Nothing amusing about CCC’s hogwash, we have a political party that does not want to invest in its political aspirations,ZANU contract top software companies (NIKUV) it shows how prepared they are to win the election. CCC happens to be the worst party in the history of Zimbabwe. Politics in Zimbabwe is unilateral meaning it’s only ZANU PF that dominates the space.. VIVA ZANU

      1. Datya

        Ayas. Matadza 🙅

        The correct response was this,

        “We as Zanu PF have nothing to fear. If any political party wants to invest their own resources in the verification of the electoral vote, then so be it. Ngavaite tione. The results shall speak for themselves, whether it is ZEC or this new system. We shall emerge victorious regardless, Tinochimanya chigame ichi.”

        “Once the electoral results have been verified, we only ask this.”

        “Let us respect the will of the people for they have spoken.”

        “Loud and Clear.”

        Imwe yese iyo ingori noise, asi murikukwata here?

        1. Observer

          Well said Datya. I see another statutory instrument being gazetted saying no other body, institution, party, individual (Freeman C) is authorized to offer vote verification & counting except for ZEC-PF

          1. …bnb

            Nice play to ccc

      2. Thug 4 life

        Are you sure that zanu/crook pf is using nikuv. Why are they using foreigners to run the election
        Tipei isu basa
        Nyika ino vaka ne vanhu nvenyu

    2. ThatGuy

      Whatever its gonna be am going to cast my vote for Change. If they need my assistance am there for free CCC ngaapinde mkomana. We are tired of this regime that has failed dismally. This system seems good if all things constant.

  4. Mike

    They can automate data collection easily rather than relying only on photos of the V11s

    1. Dikon

      True but the data collectors would need to be taught how to use the system. In this regard I think they got it right considering that people been taking pictures for years now with apps like WhatsApp.

      1. Austin sibanda

        Very clear and accurate

  5. Prof. Miraimuone

    In addition to the ‘majority’ of Zimbabweans being fed up, these measures are there to just make the impending spectacle MORE HISTORICAL!

  6. Cde che

    Its very possible if only theirs good internet speeds around the country plus if they give their agents good smart phones. I also think they should have developed an app that can be accessed by anyone who wants to view the results. The biggest issue is in constituencies like mudzi etc where opposition party election agents are not allowed. I think by now we should have a voting system that shows real-time results and voting patterns

  7. Cde

    This is exactly the system utilized by MDC in the 2008 election that saw Tsvangirayi win against Mugabe, in this case it’s only enhanced a bit. A person who is bitten by the same trich twice is a fool and Zanu is no fool. The system court Zanu unaware, because they were used to have ZEC gathering all polling stations results, manipulate them then announce. It was technology that beat Zanu in this case, because, mobile phones were used to tally results by the Opposition and most where transmitted via SMS. In fact Strive Masiyiwa who was then supporting MDC and even had shares in the then Opposition newspaper, the Daily news, just before it was then bombed, was involved in ensuring that the Econet network was extended to unserviced areas and performed well during the critical time of tallying results. Also a new thing that MDC had sneaked into the Electoral bylaws which Zanu did not realize ack then was very critical . This was the publication of electoral results by displaying the results at each polling station by tdisplaying them on the wall of each polling station so that any member of the public can access them, making it easy for any MDC agent to read and transmit the results to tallying the MDC tallying centre. By the time Zanu realized what had happened, it was too late. All Zanu then strategized to do was to rig a little bit and deny Tsvangirayi more than 51% that he had got and they gave him only 47% as official resullts, yet the MDC command had actually tallied to more than 51% in their aggregations. Zanu did this to facilitate the run-off election where by Zanu (using a strategy rapidly authored Jonathan Moyo at the request of ED leading to Jonso’s readmission to Zanu) unleashed ‘Operation Mavhotera papi’ which was all about cowing the povo to vote Zanu by means extreme violence which led Tsvangirayi to withdraw from the race but akangoramwira maKudo munda, because elections went ahead anyway and Mugabe inaugurated himself as President, though one year later,a GNU was setup

  8. Banolila

    Thats the way to go ccc the results should be accessed in real tym for all to see .problem ichazowanikwa pekuti ccc yakazodyiwa ivo vanhu vambozvionera vega kuti yadyiwa toziva kuti for the next 5years hapana opposition nokuti karwiyo kekuti maelections akarigwa panenge pasina

  9. James

    They couldn’t field local government candidates in all wards, are they going to deploy polling agents kuma polling stations ese? Wanowanikwepi vanoda kufira mahara?

    1. Captain Jack Sparrow

      It’s not like CCC doesn’t have the capacity to field candidates to polling stations, the truth is that CCC is just a pyramid scheme to embezzle money from people. It’s just an organisation with many slogans than policies and it’s I’m… God Bless ZANU kkk

  10. Anonymous

    CCC is tsotsi party bent false, misleading & fake stories looking for support from foreign countries instead of shoreing local support. Fake kidnappings & damaging peoples property with barbaric riotous acts cannot win an election.
    I’m so glad the people of Zimbabwe, Sadc, AU, the international community have seen & realised that this party is just interested in funding & will cookup any fake incident for a meal, proper singing for dinner.

    It’s a ponsi scheme, a pyramid scheme $$$ only, no real desire or intention to run the country, what a pity.

    As of publishing V11 results as the are pinned outside polling stations It’s always being going on & results being transmitted on social media, but those results are only official when all the signed V11 forms from participating are handed to ZEC. Which is part of the issue which caused the August problems when MDC refused to hand in V11 forms taken by Chamisa from his polling agents.

    So ZEC could not announce the results because the were provisional until all signed copies from participating poll agents were tendered.

    The same MDC which holding on to the V11 forms began complaining “why is ZEC taking long to announce the results.”

    This agitated people & caused the riots, police & army over reacted in controlling the mayhem but it should never have happened in the 1st place if the signed V11 forms were tendered timeously by the polling agents.

    So nothing new about this so called innovation, it can never have official status & only ZEC can announce official results.

    Anyone else doing it outside legal official boundaries may cause riotous conduct from the masses & the blood will be on their hands.

  11. Naison chitakatira

    V11 forms are very important we thanks you so much.

  12. Kudzai Mazarura

    I always said it, IT is very important when it comes to bringing in transparency in these elections, What if Zanu wins after CCC fielding agents at all 12k polling station and investing in this amazing technology, ndipo patichaziva kuti aimbohwinha ndiyani before kkkk

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