The nationwide voter registration update is just few weeks away. In order to vote in the next General Elections, Solomon Electoral Commission will need to update its existing voter list using the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) software.
To learn about the processes of how to register, as well as the new procedural changes, the Solomon Islands Electoral Office Communication and Awareness team will continue its effort in rolling out its nationwide public outreach.
This includes the Electoral Walk awareness campaign at Honiara´s Tinakula Festival on 28th July at FOPA village Panatina and Guadalcanal 2nd Appointed Day Fair at Mamara from 28th July -1st August 2023.
“These two important cultural events will serve as the springboard for BVR Civic Awareness Coordinators to begin their duties to outreach all the population in the country to explain the requirements to register and how to do it in order to vote in the next elections” Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Jasper H Anisi, commented.
After Friday's Tinakula Festival and the week-long Guadalcanal 2nd Appointed Day Fair at Mamara Beach in West Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands Electoral Office in the coming weeks and months will intensify its public awareness outreach programs across the countries.
Two more upcoming events that SIEO is aiming to continue with its public outreach Electoral Walk, is the civic awareness launch program with the Makira 2nd Appointed Day celebrations in Kirakira, and Malaita 2nd Appointed Day on the 15TH August in Auki, in Malaita Province.
This roll-out outreach program is part of the Civic and voter awareness provincial civic awareness program.
All provincial civic teams will be launching their civic and voter awareness program before visiting communities in the constituencies throughout the provinces.
SIEC's booths at both fairs on Friday showed big interest from attendants who heard from SIEC’s Awareness Coordinator the changes in the new biometric registration system.
Samantha Mali, one of SIEC's officers at Tinakula Festival referred to the success of the booth: “People are curious about the new registration system and were excited about the upcoming elections so they want to learn more about how to register. We are excited about the amount of people approaching and all the questions we are being asked. And this is only the first day.”
Registration of voters prior to a General Election is nothing new. The Electoral Commission usually collects eligible voters’ personal details such as name, date of birth, gender, father’s name, mother’s name, etc. to compile a voters list. The Commission will still capture biometric data (photograph- neck and face and thumbprints) however no ID cards will be issued on the spot as was done before.
The Biometric Voter Registration will commence on the 21st of August 2023.
In a democratic society like the Solomon Islands, your vote is your voice. Democracy allows citizens to exercise their rights to freedom of choice, freedom of expression, belief and opinion, freedom of assembly and freedom to vote. These are important rights which must be protected and upheld by the people participating in elections. Elections are, therefore, building blocks of democracy. By voting, citizens gain control over their lives and what happens in their communities. They have the opportunity to elect candidates who address their interests and concerns and reflect the beliefs, values, and wishes of the majority of the population.
Remember, to vote is to exercise the democratic given right to choose your representative in parliament, the law requires you to be on the voter list hence it is important that you register to vote.
SOLOMON ISLANDS ELECTORAL COMMISSION
The Solomon Islands Electoral Office (SIEO) would like to acknowledge and inform applicants who have responded to the temporary positions advertised for the upcoming voter registration exercise over the past months.
Over 1700 applications have been received in response to these temporary advertised positions of Registration Officers, Assistant Registration Officer Team Leaders, Provincial Awareness Coordinators, Provincial Communication and Administration Officers, Provincial Training Coordinators, and Data Processing Officers.
Assessment has been done over the past weeks with data entering of all the applications received and the final list of selected candidates will be notified accordingly.
All selected candidates for the first lot of applications for the positions of Registration Officers, Assistant Registration Officer Team Leaders, Provincial Awareness Coordinator, Provincial Communication and Administration Officers, and Provincial Training Coordinators for all the provinces will be published through print and online media next week so those who have applied for this position are advised to look out.
Disclosure of national election campaign-related expenses is one of the requirements of the Electoral Act.
The Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Jasper Highwood Anisi said that section 69 of the Electoral Act 2018 requires all candidates contesting in any national parliamentary elections must submit their election campaign-related expenses within 90 days as required by the law.
The 90 days period begins from the date the official election result for the particular parliamentary election is published in the gazette.
The West Kwara’ae by-election official result was gazetted on Friday 2nd June 2023.
“90th days counting from Friday 2nd June 2023 is Wednesday 30th August 2023. All candidates contesting this by-election must within this 90-day period, submit all accounts of election campaign expenses and the sources of all funds, including the amount received from each source used to meet those expenses”, Mr Anisi said. “
The Election Date for Western and Choiseul Provincial Assembly Elections is set for Wednesday 14th December, 2022.
Acting Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Fredrick Bosoboe revealed this date after the election was officially published in the gazette by the Minister for the Provincial Government and Institutional Strenthening Hon. Rollen Seleso, with nominations now underway.
The publication of this election date notice in the gazette commences the 7 days candidates nomination period starting from 9th to 16th of November , 2022”, Mr Bosoboe said.
All intending candidates have until 16th of November 2022 to do their nomination with the Assistant Returning Officer for resspective wards in the two provinces.
Mr Bosboe said that names of Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) for all the wards in Western and Choieul provinces are being published on SIEC facebook page.
“Candidates do check SIEO website and facebook page to know who the respponsible Assistant Registration Officer for the ward you are intending to contest to whom you will file your candidate nomination application form”.
Hard copies of these nomination form are to be collected from respective Assistant Returning Officer for the ward at the provincial nomination centers.
Check Electoral Commission facebook page and webiste for the list of Nomination Centers for Choiseul and Western Provine at www.siec.gov.sb
Acting Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Fredrick Bosoboe reminds candidates to adhere to nomination requirements to avoid disqualification.
He said that an intending candidate must be nominated by 3 registered voters, registered and reside in the ward where the candidate wants to stand, must be a registered voter for the province he/she intends to run in, and must pay a none-refundable nomination fee of $500, must resign from his/her job if he/she is a public servant, must not be involved in any work in relation to the conduct of voter registration within the last 12 months, and must file his/her nomination with the Assistant Returning Officer before close of the nomination period,” Mr Bosoboe explains.
He added that a candidate who represents a political party along section 65 of the Electoral Act must submit along with his/her nomination application form, a letter from the registrar of the office of political party commission certifying that; he/she is a registered member of the political party for which he/she seeks nomination for and that he/she is a party candidate.
Mr Bosoboe said that, the provincial election law remains the same and therefore, the penalties for breaching these election offenses remain unchanged.
He acknowledged good voters from Western and choiseul Provinces for your patience and understanding and appeals for continuous support towards the election process an through to polling day..
For enquiry, please call SIEO enquiry line on Phone : 7222200
The Taskforce on Electoral Reform continued its consultations with the Rennell and Bellona Province stakeholders on the current proposed electoral reform to hold elections at all levels of government (Parliament, Honiara City Council and the Provincial Assembly) on the same day.
Hon. Dorry Tuhaika, Health Minister for the Renbel Provincial Government welcomed and acknowledged the presence of the Taskforce in his opening remarks and urged participants to share their views, observations and raise issues and concerns on these very important reforms.
Hon. Tuhaika said that these reforms will help inform and educate the Renbel people as well as give them the opportunity to contribute to the strengthening of election processes in our country.
Commissioner Taeasi Sanga acknowledged the warmth reception from the participants and urged the participants to actively participate in the consultation.