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Fiji Time: 2:22 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Voter roll out

Mere Naleba
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

THE first 40 sets of the National Register of Voters containing the names and addresses of the 540,000 people registered to vote in the elections next year were unveiled yesterday.

In unveiling the printed version of the voters' roll, Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum confirmed that 588 Fijians living in New Zealand have registered to vote.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the government is now looking at registering Fijians living in Australia, the UK and those living in the West Coast of America next year.

The voters' roll contains detailed information and coloured photographs of the registered voters.

"So far, as you know, we have only done New Zealand," he said.

"This roll we expect to get a lot bigger once we go out to Australia and various parts of the world where Fijians live and wish to be registered to vote."

The A-G said three of the four political parties have collected their copies of the roll while the fourth — the National Federation Party — is still to receive its copy because it was unrepresented during their meeting in Suva yesterday.

He said although the decree states that political parties had to pay a fee in order to receive the set of the voters' roll, this was not practised because the political parties were not charged for obtaining the roll books.

Members of the public can access the voters' roll books from Thursday as it will be made available for public viewing.

"Staff from the Elections Office will have the books with them.

"You can go there and check your details, your address may have changed and you can verify those details.

"The rules pertaining to the elections are currently being drafted".

He said once the rules are completed, approved and gazetted, a training will be conducted for political parties on how the rules work.

"The workshop is to take them (political party members) through the rules so that they fully understand it.

"We also highlighted to them that the political parties need to give us names of the scrutineers much earlier, as you know generally polling stations have scrutineers".

The scrutineers are representatives from the political parties who will be at the polling stations when the ballot papers are counted to ensure that counting is done in a transparent and accountable manner.

The scrutineers training will see them learning more about the ballot boxes, the seals used, the system used to conduct counting of the ballot papers.