AS of Friday Last week, the much-awaited Final Voter list for the 2024 Joint Election can now be accessed at the Electoral Commission Office after a thorough treatment of the 2024 provisional voters list.
This came after the Commission approved the Final List of Electors last week as stipulated under Section 48(2) and Section 49 of the Electoral Act 2018.
The biometric voter registration process has been long and onerous with a lot of challenges along the way.
Chief Electoral Officer and Commissioner Jasper Highwood Anisi said that the fact that we have been able to get to this point, is a testament to the hard work and perseverance of all electoral officials in the field and here at Headquarters.
However, according to the Chief Electoral Officer, Jasper Highwood Anisi, there is also a fee that has to be paid to access the final electors list.
“Anyone who wants to have a copy of the final voter list is advised to pay at the Ministry of Finance & Treasury (MoFT) and bring their receipts to the Solomon Islands Electoral Headquarters. You will be given a soft copy of the final voters list,” Mr Anisi said.
He further added although the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) would like to distribute the voter list as widely as possible and recognize the need to distribute the list for free, there are administrative costs that the commission has to foot and the fee is purposely to cater for these costs.
“The cost varies according to the voter population of the constituency and or ward or polling stations including the cost of the flash drive,” he added.
Mr. Anisi also added that a soft copy in PDF format will be handed over to a person with a legitimate receipt in a new flash drive or flash pen.
Meanwhile, CEO Anisi said that the voter registration update was a success yet has its challenges. These challenges stemmed from logistics and administration, weather, and technicalities that were our controls.
“A lesson learned undertaking following the election-proper will deliberate more on these challenges and documentation in a report including recommendations for future improvements will be highlighted,” he added.
He said now that we have finalized the list of voters for each constituency, our operations officials will proceed to work closely with officials at the constituency level to try and assign voters to the polling stations nearest to their place of residence.
“We will ensure that a particular polling station does cater for more than 600 voters and with exceptions may vary to places that may go beyond the 600 mark.
“Where the number of voters in a particular area exceeds 600 or more voters, we will consider creating another polling station to reduce the number of voters assigned to a polling station to a reasonable level,” CEO Anisi said.
He further highlights that while most of the 1,041 polling stations used in 2019 would be used once again, we anticipate that a further 200 plus polling stations would need to be established to cater for the additional 60,493 voters on the Final List this time around, and the facilitating of the Joint Elections.
“This is necessary to better facilitate a voter’s access to exercise his or her democratic right to vote on April 2024,” Anisi stated.
Mr. Anisi said that the public can search by their first name and surname on the web/link https://solomonelections.net/ (Polling Station Locator) pending final confirmation by mid-March 2024 after polling station assessment from Returning Officers.
SIEC continues to acknowledge the Australian government, New Zealand Government, UNDP – DFAT, and EU, Support, the Solomon Islands Government, and other donors who have helped fund this election exercise.
CEO Anisi also acknowledges the New Zealand Electoral Commission (NZEC), Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), and The Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators Network (PIANZEA), Electoral Management Bodies who have supported one way or the other.
The Electoral Commission is an independent and impartial permanent body established under the Constitution to promote and strengthen democracy in the Solomon Islands through the delivery of free and fair elections.
For Election Happenings, follow SIEO’s Facebook @SIelectoralcommission page and website on www.siec.gov.sb Or for general inquiries, you can call the office hotline phone on 7222200 or landline 21198.