Religious groups may not use Fiji’s Electronic Voter Registration

Fiji’s Electronic Voter Registration process (EVR) began in major centres last Tuesday. The EVR helps to minimise election fraud and at the same time accelerate the voter identification process.

However, some religious organisations have told the Fiji government they may not participate in the electronic voter registration.

Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki said the organisations had refused to register because of their religious beliefs.

Cawaki said these religious bodies had been informed the government wanted everybody to register so they could have a say on who should govern the country.

However on Monday, the Attorney-General and Minister for Elections Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that registration and voting was not compulsory.

The identity of the groups was not revealed.

Those wish to use the Electronic Voters Registration process can go to a designated Voter Registration Centre where trained clerks  will assist them.

They will be asked for one form of valid identification with a photograph. Applicants will be helped to fill out a registration form and have her or his photograph and thumbprint taken. When the process is complete  the applicant will be a registered voter and will receive a voter card.

The registration process takes three to five minutes on average. Once the EVR is finished, the data uploads to a central database via internet connection or is encrypted on a flash drive.

4000 people have already registered. The Fijian government’s target is to register over 600,000 people in the span of eight weeks.  Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum, admits the target is going to be hard work. “We have set ourselves a fairly onerous target.”

CODE Corporation from Canada has supplied the Biometric Voter Registration System (BVRS) under the Biometric Voter Registration agreement between the corporation and the government of Fiji.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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