Honiara, July 28, 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 Bio Metric 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.