Tomorrow (Today) is polling day for all three by-elections in Malaita. Voters from Ward 18 in East Kwaio and Ward 28 in West Kwaio along with West Kwaio National By-Elections are going to the poll to vote their representatives to the provincial assembly and the national government.
Election Manager for the West Kwaio By-Election and Returning Officer for ward 18 and Ward 28 provincial assembly elections Mr. David Filia Tuita, urged voters from these electoral wards to take on the opportunity and exercise their right to participate in the polling.
Mr. Tuita remind voters that voting starts at 7am to 5pm in the evening. Trained Election Officials will be deployed in time to respective polling stations before the opening of polls to receive voters.
“Voting procedures at the polling station remains the same as in previous election. A voter has to turn up at their designated and correct polling station where his/her name appears before he or she can allow to cast a vote”, Mr. Tuita said.
“This means even if you are a registered voter; you can only vote at the polling station that your name appear so it is important that voters checked their polling stations from our notices that are posted in the constituencies to ascertain where they are allotted”, Mr. Tuita explained.
Mr. Tuita clarifies that, the same voter list used in the preceding election will be used for voting on polling day hence, if a voter does not vote in 2019 national general election, he/she will still cannot vote this time. Only those who voted in 2019 national general election will be able to vote this time.
“He explained that, there was no new registration update done in West Kwaio to capture new eligible voters therefore eligible young people who have turned 18th over the past three and half years since the last registration update in 2018 will not still votes as their names are yet included in the voter list”
Mr. Tuita urged communities to take civic responsibility to help voters needing assistance marking their ballot paper properly for and during voting.
If a disable voter entrusted you to assist as witnesses to their choice of candidate during voting, do please provide that assistance by accompanying the voter to the polling station and witnessing his or her choice of vote, Mr. Tuita urged.
He reiterates that, it is important that, community members, take the responsibility to ensure, our elderly, less confident and those who have problem with reading and those with other form of disabilities to exercise their right to vote.
A special reminder to ward 28 voters in West Kwaio Constituency. You will be casting to vote. One for your provincial member and another for your national Member of parliament.
The polling process is same for casting a singer vote; however, you will be given two ballot paper instead of one.
Each voter will have to mark 2 ballot papers and make sure cast the right ballot paper into the right ballot boxes. There will also 2 ballot boxes at the polling station color coded to distinguish which ballot paper goes in which ballot box.
The provincial ballot paper is color coded green hence goes in the ballot box with the green lid with the green sticker. The national ballot paper is color coded white hence goes in the orange lid ballot box with the white sticker.
It is important that voters cast the right ballot paper into the right ballot box as wrongly cast ballot paper will not be counted.
A face-to-face awareness program has successfully toured the communities in ward 28 explaining this simultaneous election including and single allot voting in ward 27 and 2 and we are confident that voters are well aware on what to do on the polling day.
The Electoral Commission acknowledges the immense support rendered by communities towards the conducting of these by-elections.