Voter list over 372,000

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Mr Saitala
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An interesting increase within just 4 years, but is expected to drop says SIEC

By Gary Hatigeva

FOLLOWING last month’s voter registration programmes held nationwide, the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) through its Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system, has confirmed recording around 372,850 voters, an increase of around 150,000.

This increase had jumped past the Commission’s estimates in the expected number, which the Commission’s Chief Electoral Officer, Mose Saitala suggested it to be an interesting increase from just over 200,000 from the last registration exercise, just about four years ago.

In this increase, the Commission has recorded close to 81,000 of newly registered including those who had just fallen into the eligible voting age, which was around the figures that were estimated.

However, around 54,900 were those who re-registered under the transfer status, a figure that is said to have gone beyond the Commission’s estimates, and this according to Saitala, had sparked the high increase, within a period of just four years.

He said it is also under these transfer activities where a lot of people used to register more than once, and confirmed that the commission through the sufficiency of the BVR system was able to remove a good number of names.

Others whose names appeared more than once, was due to the fact they were involved in the mass cross-border registration but have not fulfilled the requirements of the Act, have returned to re-do their registration in their constituency of origin, and this cases have been noted, with some already being removed.

He added that the current total number of names is also expected to drop after the crucial phase of the process, which is the objection and omission, including the public inquiry, where a good number of names are expected to be objected and removed.

The CEO stressed that to see a more accurate and realistic figure, more is needed to be done on the screening, but suggested that this can happen effectively through the help of the people, whom he encouraged to use the Objection and Omission period, to point out people whose names are highly questionable.

He explained that this important process will be done two weeks after the provisional list is put out, and the commission is now working tirelessly to finalise all its preparations and trainings for its Revising Officers, who will be tasked with the responsibility to look after the objection phase.

He then revealed that a good number of names were also highlighted by their registration officials to be underage, but pointed out that there are a good number of them that might still be in the provisional list, but can only hope they are spotted and removed.

Saitala however called again on the genuine electors in all constituencies to assist the commission on this, stressing that SIEC will also rely heavily on them to point out those who are not qualified to register, let alone voting.

Island Sun understands that the Commission was due to start its roll out programme yesterday, pinning up its provisional list of voters for viewing, ahead of the Objection and Omission phase in two weeks’ time.

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