Wednesday, 31 March 2010 8:46 AM

Voter Registration Extended for Further 14 Days

The Minister of Home Affairs has approved a 14 day extension to voter registration sought by the Electoral Commission last week.

Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu, said the Electoral Commission sought the short extension to allow every province to return registration forms for processing.

"Because of finance, transport and weather difficulties, some provinces began voter registration later than others and have therefore had problems returning all their registration forms to the Electoral Commission in time", Mr Haununu explained.

The extension will mean that every province has enough time to return completed registration forms, and can begin the next step of in the voter registration process - the revision period, on the same day, 13 April.

The Electoral Commission is currently working to process returned registration forms to make a draft voters' list. This is where new names are added, and old names are removed where people told registration officials that a person on the old list had died or moved to another place.

The draft list will then be sent out to every province after 13 April to begin the revision period. Mr Haununu said that the revision period required every voter to check a draft voters' list of names.

"The Electoral Commission alone cannot rid the voters' list of corruption; we are calling on the good citizens of Solomon Islands to check the draft voters' list which will be posted in every ward."

"People need to check that their name has been correctly added to the list if they completed a registration form. If they did not register, then people must complete an omission form - form D - and give it to the registration official."

"We also want people to help us get rid of double registrations by telling us if a person on the list in their area has died, moved to another place, or not from that area."

"Under the current laws guiding voter registration, community support is the best way and the only way we can work together to try and make a better list for the upcoming national general election - a list that has everyone registered with one name only, in one place only."

Mr Haununu advised people to listen out to the weekly SIBC Electoral Commission awareness program on Saturday night after the seven o'clock news and Tuesday morning after the eight o'clock news, or check newspapers for updates on voter registration.

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