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FEO reassures voters ballot boxes secured

October 5, 2018 7:56 pm

The Fijian Elections Office has reassured voters that robust mechanisms are in place to protect ballot boxes in transit to and from polling venues.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem says security and contingencies have been at the forefront of all security planning.

Saneem says all ballot boxes during pre-poll and Election Day will be secured under the guard of the Police Force and in the custody of the FEO.

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“Police post are our storage sites and that’s the place where all the ballot boxes are that have been sealed in the field and bought in. Exchange sites are places which are within reach so that our officials don’t have to come all the way down to the storage area but wait in the middle for our teams and they will collect ballot boxes.”

He says all pre-poll ballot boxes will be transported to Suva for the counting of votes.

“Storage starts from firstly at the stations and after that when the teams have bought back all the materials. The materials will then be bought to Suva to our storage site at our warehouse and that will also be under Police guard after which it will be bought to the counting centre which will also be heavily fortified by the Police.”

Saneem says there are stringent steps that will be taken if there’s tempering of pre-poll ballot boxes.

“If the FEO finds that then we will immediately investigate, refer it to the relevant authorities FICAC. Should there be proved that yes there has been any of those incidents – the FEO will itself move the court to give directions – we will be seeking directions that we re-poll at that particular location because we know who is supposed to vote there – so we can easily conduct another pre-polling there with that same set of numbers at that polling station.”

Saneem assures these measures prevents the nullification of the entire election process should a certain pre-poll ballot box be tempered with.

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