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FEO welcomes proposed amendment

August 29, 2021 1:50 pm

The Fijian Elections Office has welcomed the announcement by the Attorney General to amend the provisions governing the registration of voters.

Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem says this will ensure Voter List used in the national election is free from error, and can be verified against other relevant documents and official sources.

Amendments will ensure the registration in the National Register of Voters is done based on records maintained officially at other agencies of Government.

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Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem

Saneem says in 2020, the FEO identified 76 individuals who attempted to register using alternate names and this risk can lead to multiple voting.

The Supervisor of Elections says when individuals register multiple times, they can manipulate the electoral system and cast as many votes.

He adds in order to ensure that every individual citizen can vote only once, the SoE through the FEO must ensure that the information that is relied upon to register a person and the person in the voter list, is derived from records that are maintained under law.

The person’s proof of citizenship is primarily through the birth certificate.

FEO also works with stakeholders such as the BDM Registry, Department of Immigration, Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Fiji Corrections Service to cross-check and update their list.

Saneem says the task of matching the names of all the voters with the records held at these agencies will be difficult if individuals are allowed to use names not present in birth records.

He adds that for the purposes of elections and voting, it is necessary to ensure that the records are verifiable to the fullest extent possible.

The SoE says primary sources of information should be given higher credibility and accepted readily.

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