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Critical check

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, September 04, 2014

CHECK your polling venues, and the best way to do it is by texting the Electronic Voter Registration number to 545, says the Fijian Elections Office as some people turned up confused on the first day of pre-polling yesterday.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem says those doing pre-poll today should check their venue by sending their EVR number to 545, which is a free text service.

"Unfortunately if you do not check, you will end up in the wrong venue," he said.

"I would like to inform you that the 545 response system has been modified. If you are a voter under the pre-poll, you will be advised that your venue is a pre-poll venue, if you are a postal voter the SMS response will also confirm that you are a postal voter and if you are voting on (September) 17, it will just give a venue.

"We will also publish in tomorrow's (today's) newspapers the venues with the exact addresses.

"Today was the first experience as to what will happen and how things will go, we found that confusion occurred because of similarity in the names of certain venues.

"People in Namoli in Lautoka lined up, unfortunately we were doing pre-polling in Namoli in Keiyasi.

"With that in mind, the FEO apologises for the inconvenience caused.

"To rectify the problem we will publish in tomorrow's (today) dailies the venues with exact addresses and we will do the same on the radio."

When questioned if the Elections Office's voter awareness campaign had been effective, Mr Saneem responded: "Fiji Election Office has tried its maximum best to reach the voters, this included sending vehicles with staff on board to individual places to inform them, these vehicle also carried voter information booklets and this was to inform the voters that we are having pre-poll in those areas."

"The turnouts today from the Electoral Commission who visited the venues today also is that the turnout has been very good.

"Because today is the first day, lot of things will continue to happen.

"These are all preparations for September 17 on a mega-scale," Mr Saneem said.





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