Electoral Office gears up for General Election

Work at the Office of the Electoral Commissioner to prepare for the 2021 General Election is continuing with more people registering to exercise their votes.

Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, told the Samoa Observer that his office continues to register new voters with just over nine months left before the electoral rolls are closed for the country’s next general election.

The Office has registered close to 5,000 new voters since the registration opened three years ago after the last polls. 

“Total number of new voters registered since 2016 is 4834 and total number of voters who have transferred their votes to other constituencies is 1021,” said Faimalomatumua.

“We are anticipating that number to double leading up to September next year when we close the electoral rolls for the 2021 General Election.”

This year alone has seen a total of 1,295 new voters registered, according to the Electoral Commissioner. 

This year’s new voters registered total is higher than 2018 with only 894 people registering last year. 

Faimalomatumua also said this year 909 voters transferred their vote to other constituencies, compared to 32 voters last year. 

Officers from the Office were visiting villages this year to update the electoral roll, but Faimalomatumua said the registration exercise stopped when the government declared the measles epidemic.

“But since the state of emergency all our outpost and work that need to be done in the villages has been stopped and people started to come to the office in town to do there register,” he said.

The Office has also stopped their marketing and promotional programs due to the measles epidemic.

“We find it really hard to do any advertising because of what the country is facing with the measles at the moment,” he said.

The Office-run new voter registration exercise will resume after the measles epidemic is cleared, added the Electoral Commissioner. The voter registration will also be run at all outposts to avoid members of the public all going to the Office in town to get registered. 

"Public always put it to the last minute and then they all rush in all at once," he said.

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