Man Calls for Out-of-Constituency Voting in Upcoming National General Election


BENEDICT Teahui, hailing from the Shortland Islands, has urged the Electoral Commission to consider allowing out-of-constituency voting during the forthcoming National General Election scheduled for next year.

Teahui’s plea comes on the heels of the voter registration period, which took place from September 4th to 9th, 2023.

Teahui emphasized the need for voters residing in distant regions, such as Shortland Islands and Temotu, to have the option to cast their votes in the capital city, Honiara.

He proposed that while it’s reasonable for citizens to travel to their respective constituencies for registration purposes, a more pragmatic approach would be to set up ballot boxes in Honiara for voting.

Reflecting on the previous election, Teahui noted that although voters had registered in Honiara, they were then required to journey back to their constituencies to participate in the voting process.

This logistical challenge, he argued, could be alleviated by facilitating voting within the city.

However, a representative from the Electoral Commission expressed reservations about the feasibility of implementing out-of-constituency voting in the upcoming election.

The official cited resource limitations and a constrained timeframe as potential obstacles.

Nonetheless, the spokesperson acknowledged that the idea of out-of-constituency voting aligns with the ongoing electoral reforms undertaken by the Commission.

The aim of these reforms is to enhance voter convenience and uphold fundamental principles of democratic voting. The decision regarding out-of-constituency voting will likely involve a meticulous assessment of logistical considerations, available resources, legal ramifications, and the potential impact on the integrity of the electoral process. Striking a balance between these factors will be crucial for the Electoral Commission in determining whether to adopt out-of-constituency voting for the upcoming National General Election.

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