Vanuatu’s electoral roll dates back to 1980.
Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Edward Kaltamat, revealed this as he commented that it is remarkable when one compares the total population, which was released by the Vanuatu National Statistic Office (VNSO) last year.
The total population recorded during the national census then was 309,000.
The total registered voters now are 302, 307.
Kaltamat said the statistics and the electoral roll’s figures are quite close.
The chairman noted there are two main factors in the findings.
He said VNSO’s figures did not cover Vanuatu citizens who live in other countries and the citizens who were travelling during the period of the census.
On the other hand, there are people who have been deceased since 1980, whose names are still on the electoral roll.
“We still have duplications of the names in our electoral system, but we have no right to delete their names.
“We can only do so if we have their death certificates,” said Kaltamat.
He said the use of ID cards in this snap election should minimise this anomaly, but the use of electoral cards will still remain because it is a snap election.
“We previously anticipated that in the 2024 general elections, electoral cards will no longer be in use, but that will not happen because of the dissolution of parliament,” he said.
Kaltamat said for eligible voters who have no IDs, they can still use their electoral cards.
It is alleged that proxy voting leaves room for other people to use the names of deceased people.
Kaltamat is ambitious that next year, these areas will be strengthened.
“We are currently working on a draft bill to cater for the improvement of the electoral system,” the chairman assured.
Meanwhile, the first batch of ballot boxes will be dispatched to the Polling Station in Noumea, New Caledonia. Two Electoral Office staff will be flying with the ballot boxes New Caledonia.
Noumea Polling Station is part of Port Vila Constituency, according to the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Edward Kaltamat.
This polling station has at least 1, 426 registered voters.
Kaltamat said the printing of ballot papers is ongoing. They completed the first load of printing of the ballot papers for Noumea Polling Station, so it could be flown to New Caledonia today.
Other Ballot boxes are expected to be transported to the polling stations in other parts of the country in the coming days.
The Chairman of the Electoral Commission confirmed between 8 to 10 million ballot papers will be printed for the 219 official candidates.
There are 18 polling stations altogether with a total of 302, 307 registered voters across the country and abroad.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS