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The Solomon Islands Electoral Office (SIEO) would like to inform voters that mobile phones are not permitted in polling stations.

“Votes must remain secret therefore it is important that voters leave their mobile phones outside before entering the polling station,” a statement said.

SIEO reminded the public especially voters with mobile phones to respect other voters and not take pictures of other people in or outside the polling station.

“Only accredited media personnel are allowed to take pictures inside a polling station in a specified time-duration authorised by the Presiding Officers.”

SIEO has already instructed its Returning Officers and Presiding Officers to give orders and direction to all voters entering a polling station, to leave their mobile phones outside and not to take them inside the polling station when they enter to obtain and cast their ballot papers.

Failure to comply with the direction of an election official is an offence under Section 117 of the Electoral Act. Maximum penalty for this offence is $20,000- or 2-years imprisonment or both.

Barring of cell phone also applies to those who are officially permitted to enter counting venues. 

Those who are accredited to observe and involve in counting will be given strict orders and thorough search, not to have cell phones on them during counting.

SIEO urges voters, candidates and agents to comply with electoral laws to ensure the democratic process of election is executed in a free and peaceful environment.