FIJI for the first time has an advanced identification process for people over the age of 18 who are eligible to vote in the 2014 elections.
This was revealed by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum as Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama became the first person officially registered and issued with an ID card under the new voting system at the Civic Centre in Suva yesterday.
He said under the new electronic voter registration (EVR) system that was due to start next week, those eligible to vote in the country would be required to produce ID cards that established one's identity in order to be registered.
"Following the registration process, a card will be issued, which voters will have to take to the polling stations," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
At the polling stations, he said the card would be verified before a voter could be eligible to vote.
"The cards are made in such a way that it will be very hard or almost impossible to replicate, duplicate or photocopy," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
He said the new cards had been put in place by government following the European Union's report that identified fraudulent activities in the past elections.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the more than 1000 people who had been chosen to register voters were young and had been chosen from all over Fiji.
"They will provide the best system of registration that Fiji is yet to have," he said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said from July 3, they hoped to register 600,000 Fijians within eight weeks until the third week of August.
"It is a very massive exercise and we would like to acknowledge the help and support of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance that has provided the funding for the hiring of technology," he said.
Fijians living abroad will be registered next year after government finalises necessary measures.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also thanked Australian and New Zealand experts who worked with the elections office.