Fiji election official confirms polling will be more than one day
By Robert Matau
From Islands Business International
Wed 30 Apr 2014
The 2014 election will include a two week pre-polling period for voters in the remote parts of Fiji.
Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem confirmed in a press conference in Suva today (Wednesday) that there could be a fortnight pre-polling period before September 17 to cater for voters who live in remote areas.
“For instance you may seen that we have listed 174 venues for the eastern division and you have been hearing over past few days and months that there may be situation where pre polling could be done for remote locations.
“We will go in advance of 17 September to conduct polling for voters in remote areas so it does not become an operational issue on September 17.
“Pre polling is going to work in favour of those voters and assist the Fiji Elections Office in providing proper access for everybody.”
In the 2006 elections one of the polling stations in the interior of Ba took polling officials a full day just to reach one station and another day to return with the boxes.
In several islands in the Lau group, east of Fiji, officials had to wait for high tide to access certain polling stations on the islands.
Saneem also announced that there would be a total of 1,338 Polling centres for the September elections.
He called on members of the public, political parties, government agencies and any other stakeholders to review the provisional list of polling venues and inform the Elections Office if they believe changes are needed.
Saneem explained that each proposed polling venue will contain one or more polling stations.
“Each polling venue will have as many polling stations as may be required to distribute voters and maintain a maximum of 500 voters per polling Station,” he said.
Most of the Polling venues on the provisional list were used as polling centres during the 2006 election.
“However, we have also added new polling venues that reflect the growth and movement of the Fijian population,” he said.
“The Elections Office will now start assigning voters to specific polling venues, and where the venue has more than one polling station into a particular station as well,” Saneem said.
He expects to have a provisional list of voter assignments ready by mid-May.
“We will publish this list for voters to check if they have been listed in the correct venue,” he said.
“In June, the voter will be able to correct their polling venue as we conduct phase 4 of voter registration,” he added.