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Questions arise on lack of awareness as voting begins

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, September 04, 2014

WITH the first day of voting yesterday, questions have been raised about lack of awareness by voters in areas where pre-polling took place.

Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said there was enough awareness.

"What we did after the notice of poll came out after last week, is we started announcing the venues for pre-polling on the radio and CFL and FBC can confirm to you that announcements were going as much as six times per day on all the radio stations," Mr Saneem said.

"That is one way we have been getting the message to them," Mr Saneem said.

"The Elections Office was actually calling up the turaga ni koro, the advisory councillors, the district officers, we were informing them about us coming, the times for pre-poll and informing them to get it ready.

"Because it starts on Wednesday we had called areas for pre-poll on Tuesday.

"As for the schools in which we are doing pre-polling, the Ministry of Education had agreed that teachers and principals are going to inform the students about pre-poll happening in their schools and the date and times it is happening.

"This is so the students can go back home and inform their parents who are the voters about the pre-poll."

As for the National Candidates List, Mr Saneem said when a voter entered the polling centre, a voter information guide containing the list would be given to them and from there they could choose the number of their candidate.

Mr Saneem was asked whether voters could get help from elections officials if they needed help.

"Assisted voting is permitted," he said.

"A polling officer will assist the person, the person has to have a choice of candidate before he can be helped.

"From there if he wants to know what the number of the candidate is, we will help him from there on. The presiding officer will mark the number," he said.

Mr Saneem added help will only be given if the voter knows the name of his candidate.

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