Fijian Election

Voter turnout could be as low as 50 percent

December 1, 2022 7:00 am

A Polling station in the 2018 General Election. [File]

The Fijian Elections Office says that based on current projections, there might be only a 50 percent voter turnout on Election Day on December 14.

Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem says this figure is derived by looking at the applications received for postal voting as there is a 22 percent decline when compared to the 2018 General Election.

Saneem says in 2018 they recorded a 72 percent turnout on Election Day.

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He adds in the last election they registered over 80 percent turnout in the 40 to 60 age category.

But Saneem says in the 21 to 40 age category the turnout was only around 64 percent.

Saneem says Fijians have only 12 days left to convince their families and friends to come and vote.

“Twenty-two percent drop in postal applications is an early eye opener for everybody that there will not be a very high turnout in this election unless you do something, and we have 14 days to do that.”

Saneem is also urging all businesses planning to open on Election Day which is a gazette Public Holiday to allow their staff to go and vote if they have not applied for postal voting.

He says businesses and essential services cannot be closed on Election Day, but individuals should exercise their social responsibility.

“If the election is ready for you we need the voters to be ready to come. If you give your staff at least half a day then only they will go and vote. So my plea to businesses who are planning to open on the day is to start after half the day. Open everything from 3 pm. But in the morning people should be told to vote.”

Meanwhile, the FEO has dispatched all postal packages.

Saneem is urging voters to be on the lookout for their tracking numbers.