The Solomon Islands Electoral Office is now preparing for the National General Election tentatively marked for 17 April 2024. Chief Electoral Officer, Jasper Anisi says the Electoral Office is aware that this year is a busy year for the government as preparation work is also underway for the Pacific Games to be held in November 2023. “Too many things are happening at the same time, Pacific Games, Voter Registration and the Elections”, Anisi said. He said major decisions have also been made by the Electoral Commission, which will see changes in Voter Registration and Voting. Between him and the Operations Manager they said that there will not be any out-of-constituency registration as has been done previously. “If you want to register in a constituency, you will have to travel back to the constituency where you will vote for the candidate of your choice”, Operations Manager, Frederick Bosoboe said. There will also be no longer on-spot issuance of Voter ID cards. Bosoboe said the decisions were made to address some of the loopholes seen in the past where voters have multiple voter cards from multiple registrations. New registrants are also expected to provide proof of eligibility before their voter registration application form can be processed. Other changes to be seen in the upcoming National General Election is the simultaneous voting. In the simultaneous voting, voters cast their ballot for both the national and provincial (or city council) candidates. SIEC has conducted three trials of synchronised elections in the past. One in the East Makira by-election in 2019 and another in South Choiseul in 2020 and recently in the West Kwaio by-election 2022. At the same time, Operations Team Leader for the upcoming West Kwara’ae national by-election said preparations are also under way for the by-election in May. Nominations opened last month and will close on 12 April 2023.
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