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Editorial: Give Fijian Elections Office a break – it has raised standards in this election

Not all is doom and gloom with our pre-polling as some media would want their audience to think. Fijian Elections Office’s initial voter awareness drive was from March 15 to
09 Nov 2018 14:40
Editorial: Give Fijian Elections  Office a  break – it has raised standards  in this  election

Not all is doom and gloom with our pre-polling as some media would want their audience to think.

Fijian Elections Office’s initial voter awareness drive was from March 15 to April 30 2018. It covered the entire country.

They distributed “How to Vote” materials as well as carried out direct community display and verification of the voter lists.

They got individual turaga ni koro to sign and confirm the list. Voter service teams were present to change voter details and register those not registered.

Then they came back to the office and entered all the data in the system and generated another provisional list.

This was loaded onto the 1500 platform and they did more community visits to continue to check the lists.

In September the FEO revised the lists and sent them for final verification from all communities.

Then once the writ was issued they entered all revisions and printed the voter list for display one last time at all pre-poll locations and on the 1500 text platform for election-day venues.

The FEO published first voter list in February this year and voters could check their details on 1500 for free

Media coverage of  the election has been extensive. Some media organisations have taken the approach to produce stories that lack facts in a bid to sensationalise their stories.

There appears to be a concerted drive to cast aspersions on the integrity of the Fijian Elections Office.

FEO has been anything but transparent in the election. Yesterday it admitted the error it made in voter allocation due to the same names of polling stations. It rectified the error by facilitating voting. They openly admitted the 411 postal applications as well.

New initiatives have been introduced in this election. But some media, obviously have found it hard to readjust, still stuck in the old ways.

The new changes have brought our election system on the same par with international standards.

Jyoti Pratibha

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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