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Sealed and delivered ballot box

Shalveen Chand
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

THE first ballot box was sealed yesterday and the first postal ballot to arrive at the Fijian Elections Office was put in the box.

The ballot box was sealed in the presence of a political party agent. This also signalled the start of pre-poll.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said this was the procedure that would be followed on polling day where the party agents would be shown the ballot box before it was sealed.

He said if there were no agents, a voter would be called to witness this process and after the sealing of the ballot box, it will be kept under police guard.

"Pre-poll is spread over two weeks. We have several teams that will undertake this task and we are looking at close to 80 people to undertake this task throughout the country. Most of the pre-polling areas are islands so we are hopping island to island with the vessels.

"On the ship, we will have a police guard. And this police guard who is going to be available full time with the ballot boxes and ballot papers and under police guard it is going to be taken off the vessel into a secure facility which will also have a police guard.

"The total number of polling stations for pre-poll is 547 and total number of voters is 66048 for pre-poll and the remainder which is 525,038 voters will do polling on the day or are using postal ballots."

Pre-poll is where people can vote before poll day because of their geographic location. Postal ballot is vote via post.

Members of the disciplined forces, residents of nursing homes, nurses, prisoners and journalists are some people who qualify for pre-poll.

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