Red Cross issues election safety call

The Secretary-General of the Samoa Red Cross Society has warned the public to be cautious of their safety during Friday's general election.

Namulauulu Tautala Mauala told the Samoa Observer that people should be on alert for the potential challenges that may come with the more than 100,000 voters expected to cast their ballots on a single day. 

"We have been doing work coordinated under the National Disaster Management Office, and part of this is to train our communities, not only for natural disasters but also emergencies that may happen around our country from time to time," she said.

She said over 100 communities have undergone training encompassing preparedness for emergencies and disasters as well as the effects of climate change.

"So we have called around to all the communities we have trained, you know to be on the alert and to also look at activating their plans," she said.

Namulauulu said the non-Government organisation is depending on the communities they have trained in case anything happens. They will also be looking out for the safety of their volunteers as they cast votes themselves.

Namulauulu said their staff will have to be mindful and watchful as they participate in the democratic process. 

"There will be volunteers around every other booth on this island, as well as Savaii, Manono, and Apolima," she said.

She said Red Cross volunteers will be on standby and they have passed word onto their members to remain alert.

Namulauulu is thankful for the pre-polling process that involves the elderly and persons with disabilities, further explaining that we need to look after our safety.

If there are long lines during the voting process on Friday, Namulauulu recommends people take steps to ensure the process is easy, fast and ensures everyone's safety.

A total of 128, 849 people have registered to vote in the general election which is close to double the number that registered in the 2016 general election.

Out of that total 42, 640 have registered in Savai'i with the remaining 86, 209 registered to cast their votes in Upolu.

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