Over 3,000 deceased voters dropped from roll

The names of over 3,000 deceased voters were removed from Samoa’s electoral roll after the 2016 General Election.

Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, said the total number of voters on the electoral roll for the 2021 General Election is 128,849. 

He said 16,630 of them are new voters who registered between April 2016 and 8 October 2020.

“The final roll for the 2016 general election was 115,892,” he said in response to questions from the Samoa Observer. 

“3,673 of deceased voters were removed from the roll, the increase in the number of new voters was the result of our Office field works that took place in 2016 right up to 2020, where we went out to family homes around the country, to each villages, each constituency, work places, schools, universities, churches etc.”

Faimalo said Lepa has the least number of registered voters while Faleata 1 has the most. 

He did not say how many people are now registered in the constituencies. 

Asked if the latest figures on voters have addressed the issue of population density and movement, the Electoral Commissioner replied largely yes. 

“The numbers show that more voters are concentrated in Vaimauga, Faleata and now Sagaga,” he added. “The fact that these territorial constituencies were divided as electoral constituencies shows a spread amongst these geographical masses of the country.” 

A report from the Office of the Electoral Commission after the 2016 General Election noted the restriction in the authority of the office to remove deceased names from the roll.

The Electoral Act 2019 under Removal of names from roll states that the Commissioner can remove the name of a person if he is satisfied that the death has been notified. 

Furthermore, a person can have their name removed in writing by the Registrar General of Births and Deaths or in writing by the spouse, father, mother, brother, sister or child of the deceased, provided that the person so advising the Commissioner is at least 18 years of age. 

It can also be done through a public notice or a written confirmation from the relevant church minister. 

Other reasons that can lead to removal of a person's name from the roll is if the Commissioner is satisfied the voter has ceased to be qualified to be registered on that roll, the Electoral Act states.    

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