Poem competition for voter awareness

By Sapeer Mayron 19 February 2019, 12:00AM

The Office of the Electoral Commissioner is calling for submissions for a poetry competition in honour of National Voters Day, March 1 2019.

The competition is for students in Year 7 or 8 to write a poem on the theme “what I know about elections in Samoa”. The poems will be judged on their relevance to the theme, their creativity, structure and clarity. 

They can be in English or Samoan and should be submitted by the February 25 to the OEC office on the first floor of the NPG plaza. 

Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Matthew Lemisio, said each year Voters Day aims to keep the country excited about the elections.

“It’s hard to keep people motivated in the five-year period between elections so we need activities that are electorally related,” he said.

“Our interest is to continue to raise awareness among our voters that they have obligations and duties under the law to elect their leaders in Parliament.”

This year’s Voters Day events will take place in Savai’i and coincides with the by-election in Fa’asaleleaga Number 2.

The by-election will also feature one of the first instances of public counting of the votes. The candidate committee and members of the public are invited to watch and scrutinise the counting, Faimalomatumua said.

“We are looking for a public hall to do the final count, so people can come and witness the whole process and scrutinise, until the last vote is counted,” he added. 

“Obviously it will be controlled; there will be a designated spot to witness from while the counting is going on.”

Faimalomatumua said so far the by-election registration process has been going well. His team will present a report on the first week’s activities to him soon, he said.

The preliminary counting and final counting of votes for the Fa’asaleleaga Number 2 seat will all be held in Savaii, and Faimalomatumua believes the results will only take a day or two to be released to the public.

By Sapeer Mayron 19 February 2019, 12:00AM

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