The first votes of the 2024 Solomon Islands joint elections have been cast in Honiara on Friday.

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) said pre-polling has been facilitated for police officers and electoral officials who will be working during polling day on 17 April.

The pre-polling for working officials was held from 7am to 4pm local time.

For the election proper, 19 pre-polling locations have been organised across the 10 provinces.

The elections office is encouraging voters to check their details on the electoral commission’s polling station locator.

Meanwhile, the SIEC has clarified guidelines regarding elections campaigning after what it said was “misconceptions in the media”.

It said that according to the Electoral Act 2018, campaigning in all forms is permitted up until 24 hours before polling day, including but but is not limited to rallies, speeches, and public parades.

“A recent news article in the Island Sun newspaper erroneously suggested that SIEC had advised against float parades in the Honiara City. The SIEC clarifies that decisions regarding public floats and parades fall under the rightful jurisdiction of the Honiara City Council and the Royal Solomon Islands Police, not the SIEC,” it said in a statement.

“It is crucial for all stakeholders, including candidates, political parties, and the media, to adhere to the Electoral Act 2018 and conduct campaigns within the legal framework.”

The commission is urging the local media to verify information before publishing so that it is accurate and maintains the integrity of the electoral process.