BY BEN BILUA
VOTER registration in Western Province is looking at approximately 6,500 new voters to register for the upcoming provincial election in December 14th.
Registration Manager, the Deputy Provincial Secretary of Western Province, Patrick Toiraena made the statement during the launching of voter registration at Gizo yesterday.
He said these new voters are those who have turned 18 after the last registration.
“Based on the latest census, approximately 6,500 new voters are expected to be registered this year,” Toiraena said.
He said a total of 59, 983 voters have been registered during the previous voter’s registration in 2017, 2018 and 2019 national general election – meaning the current registration is expecting to register close to 66,483 voters.
Toiraena said the registration process is a legal obligation under section 12 of the Electoral Act  where eligible voters are obliged to fulfil.
He adds that the process is anticipated to provide the basis for the scheduled provincial election and at the same time establish an avenue for eligible voters to satisfy their democratic rights.
“If your name is not on the list, you are not eligible to vote, so this registration process is to provide the opportunity to those who are eligible to vote to fulfil their democratic rights to vote.
“Those who turned 18 and above after the last registration must make all efforts to register,” Toiraena said.
He appeals to stakeholders, leaders and families to advocate and encourage eligible voters to register.
Toiraena also calls on community leaders to assist those with special needs to register.
“We must put our hands together to ensure we are able to participate in the democratic process leading to our provincial elections comes December.
“As a democratic nation, these are the principles of democratic elections and this must be upheld.
“We cannot hold provincial election without an updated voters list,” he said.