Few changes in voter registration exercise

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BY JARED KOLI

THE Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) will be rolling out few changes to how it will be conducting Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) updates.

But SIEC Operations Manager Freddie Bosoboe says most of the processes from the last BVR in 2014 are the same.

He explained in 2014 the system was new and SIEC had to compile a totally new voter’s roll for the country.

“Now as it is called an “update” this is going to be what it is, an updating of the roll from the 2014 National General Election for Western and Choiseul provinces.

“It is not another totally new compilation of the voter’s roll,” he further clarified.

Speaking in yesterday’s update launching Mr Bosoboe said the upcoming BVR will be targeting and mostly registering newly eligible voters (18+years) and removing of deceased persons from the roll.

“An important aspect of cleansing the roll will be advice from family members about the names of deceased persons. Their proactive support will be very helpful to the commission,” he said.

Mr Bosoboe highlighted that the proposed BVR Update will be operationally conducted in both provinces using a new method other than the one used in 2014, where registration teams use to move in clusters, stationed at a VRC for a set number of days and moved on to another VRC within constituencies for another VRC.

“We will undertake what we call “mixed method” for this update. Basically, one part involves teams moving from VRCs to VRCs and the other component is more of a stationery or having permanent VRCs.

“Registration teams will be moving within constituencies from   VRCs to VRCs while a couple or so teams will be stationed at provincial centres or busy hubs quite permanently throughout the registration phase,” he said.

Bosoboe adds the other change is with the restriction of registration within a constituency to a particular VRC only.

“We will trial the possibility to be able to register within anywhere in the province for its constituencies wherever a registration team is approached by eligible voters. We would like to move away from traditional practices that are restrictive but to having greater and easy accessibility of these services to be able to register and vote anywhere.”

Bosoboe said the whole schedule of the BVR Update will take around 120 days. The actual registration period will be 14 days. The other voter registration processes that will commence afterwards are;

  1. Collecting data, compiling and displaying the preliminary roll for public scrutiny
  2. Making claims and objections
  3. Display of claims and objections along holding public inquiries
  4. Data matching and
  5. Finalising the roll

Those eligible to register in these two provinces will have to carefully listen out to awareness programmes when a registration team will be near their areas.

“There are now two Registration Managers, 12 Registration Officers and two Revising officers appointed and will be trained in the coming weeks in Gizo.

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