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Drive in Schools Best Way To Get New Voters: Chandra

  Fijian Electoral Commission chairperson Suresh Chandra said the registration drive in secondary schools was the best way to recruit eligible voters for the 2018 General Elections. “The secondary school
23 May 2017 11:00
Drive in Schools Best Way To Get New Voters: Chandra
Front (sitting from left): Fijian Electoral Commissioners Jawahar Lal and Kavita Raniga, Fijian Electoral Commission chairperson Suresh Chandra, Natabua High School principal Virendra Sharma and Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem with Natabua High School students and Elections office officials on May 22, 2017. Photo: Shahani Mala

 

Fijian Electoral Commission chairperson Suresh Chandra said the registration drive in secondary schools was the best way to recruit eligible voters for the 2018 General Elections.

“The secondary school voters registration drive is an ideal programme to capture newly eligible voters before they leave to pursue higher education or a career of choice,” Mr Chandra said.

Mr Chandra was speaking yesterday during the launch of the School Voter Registration Drive 2017 at the Natabua High School in Lautoka.

“I am sure after today’s registration exercise, many of you will be joining your parents, relatives and older friends as a citizen with responsibility,” he said.

“It will now become your responsibility to ensure that once you are registered, you must go and vote.”

Mr Chandra said he was aware that a voter card had several other uses.

“But every time I look at my voter card, I feel a weight on my shoulder – it tells me that my vote decides how my country is governed,” he said.

“I am sure that you have already and in the coming months you will obviously come across numerous election related advertising, news, discussions, social media and many other sources.

“This can sometimes be challenging when you suddenly realise that the information is ‘meant for you’. It is supposed to call you to make a choice.”

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said: “In today’s age, young people are now becoming the Wikipedia. You are now the carriers of wisdom.

“Time is such that with so much information around and easily accessible, young people are self-motivated, you are self-taught.

“So you will become an elections voice in your community, in your school, you will go back and if you have families or relatives who are not registered, it is now your job to convince them to get the card.”

Mr Saneem told the students that on Election Day, their first responsibility was to turn up to vote and bring everyone along with them.

“It will be a Public Holiday but it will be the most important public holiday of the whole year because the next set of leaders for the country will be decided on that day,” he said.

Natabua High School principal Virendra Sharma said: “This is a good initiative by the Fijian Elections Office.

“This will allow school students to get registered and vote in the next elections.”

Natabua High School Year 13 student Sainiana Matau said: “I was so excited to get registered and get my first identification card.

“I am thankful to the Fijian Elections Office for launching this drive in our school. It is a great opportunity for Natabua students to get registered and get their voter cards.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj

 

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