By Gary Hatigeva
ELIGIBLE Voters throughout the country are being urged to take part in the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC’s) radio talkback show this weekend.
This comes as part of the Commission’s intentions to give the opportunity to voters to raise concerns, ask questions and seek clarification on the electoral process.
Speaking to Island Sun, SIEC’s Head of Media and Publication Awareness Unit, Philothea Paul explained that the talkback show will focus generally on the voter registration process and election proper.
“It is really giving the avenue to interact with elections stakeholders and seek understanding on what SIEC does and listening to what electorate think and what the law says about the conduct of election,” Ms. Paul explained.
She further explained that the program will be a 2 hour talk show with Senior Staff of the Electoral Commission, including the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) himself who will be there to answer questions from the public.
According to the program, Media representatives will also be there and will be given opportunity to ask questions as well.
“Therefore, SIEC would like to encourage voters and public to be part of the show by tuning in their radio to SIBC from 10am -12pm on Saturday, 27th Oct,” the SIEC Official urged.
As a matter of recap, the Registration Process, an applicant registers to vote at a Voter Registration Centre by completing the voter registration form (Form B), where the applicant’s thumb-prints and photograph will also be captured, and all this information will be entered into the laptop computers provided as part of the Biometric Registration Kit.
A voter ID card containing the credentials and photograph of the applicant will be printed and issued immediately after this process is complete.
At the end of each week of the Registration Period, all completed Form Bs, plus the backup data are accounted for by the Registration Teams at each of the registration centres and sent to the Registration Officer (RO) for that constituency where the calculation is reconciled.
The Registration Managers at the provincial centre will collect this data from ROs and forward them to the SIEC Headquarter Data centre where they will be loaded into the BVR database system, which continues until end of the registration period.
At the close of the registration period, the database will be checked for duplicates, and in cases of duplicates, Data processing officers will crosscheck using Form B to verify, and the provisional List of electors (Form C) is settled after verifications.
As for the Election’s in a nut shell, it has a Cycle, which involves the registration phase, as explained above, the Exhibition Phase, which comes after the registration process closes, where all the data collected in the field will be put together to compile a Provisional Voters List (Form C).
This Provisional List will be exhibited for public scrutiny for 7 days in each of the Voter Registration Centres (VRC) across the Solomon Islands.
This will allow the public to examine the Provisional List for possible errors and omissions. This period is NOT a second time for people who did not apply to register or transfer to apply.
There is also the Omission & Objection Phase, where after the public inspection of the Provisional List, any person identifying any omission, or who wishes to object to another person’s name on the list, will have, 14 days to do so.
Depending on the nature of the challenge, a person can lodge claim by completing Form D, which gives an advice of omission of his/her name and details, or Form E, which serves a notice of objection to another applicant on the Provisional list.
Finally, there is the Public Inquiry Phase, Public Inquiry Phase, whereby based on information gathered during the claims and objection period, public hearings will be held by Revising Officers who will decide whether or not to uphold each claim and objection.
The decision made at these hearings will be final and they will then be forwarded, through the Registration Manager of each Province to the SIEC Data centre in Honiara, which will then see the compilation of the Final Voters List.
Based on official decisions made, the Exhibition and Inquiry phase, amendments will be made to the Provisional List and a final Voters List will be completed for use on Election Day.