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Electoral Commission reaches out to voters | 02 December 2019

Electoral Commission reaches out to voters

Voters verifying their status at one of the special voters’ registration centres set up over the weekend (Photo: Thomas Meriton)

As part of its voters outreach initiative, the Electoral Commission on Saturday set up three special voters registration centres across Victoria for persons who wanted to verify their status on the voters’ registration lists.

It was also a prime opportunity for young voters who had yet to feature on the lists to register, for people to undertake the procedures to change their names on the list or even to transfer their names from the district where they previously resided to another.

The special registration centres were located at Orion Mall and the Central Post Office from early morning to 2pm and at the STC Hypermarket until 4pm.

Salina Sinon, senior legal officer at the Electoral Commission, observed that this outreach initiative marks “a new era” for the Electoral Commission since it is the first time that it organises such an exercise.

“Registration centres had always been placed in districts or at our main headquarters; the Electoral Commission did not bring the centres to the public. Now, we are bringing our services closer to the general public for their convenience so as to encourage first-time voters to register and for others to check their names. This is our new approach,” she noted.

The Electoral Commission is hoping to extend its public outreach initiative to Praslin and La Digue as well as to post-secondary and tertiary institutions.

Ms Sinon has urged all Seychellois, residing in Seychelles, who are 18 years and above, to verify their names on the lists even though they had previously participated in past elections without any issues.

“It is important to check if there are errors in your personal details such as your name and your national identity number and it may even be that you are no longer on the voters’ list for some reason or other. The names of people are sometimes taken off the list without their knowledge so it is only through verification that we can avoid any disappointments or surprises in the next election,” Ms Sinon explained.

The voters register closes on December 31 after which the register is updated and certified in March, every year.

New applications and changes made by any person this year does not feature on the current register since the new one will be certified on March 31, 2020.

This means that, presently, the Electoral Commission’s SMS notification system (9600) only shows the names and details of persons who are on the list that was validated on March 31, 2019.

“If you have requested for a transfer this year, this change would only be reflected in the next certified register. If people want to appear on this new certified register in March 2020, they will have to register with the Electoral Commission before December 31,” Ms Sinon highlighted.

“However we will start taking in applications again as from January 2020 but will close the register again when the election is announced. These applications will feature on the register that will be used for the 2020 election,” she further elaborated.

Any applications that come in after the elections will not go onto the register.

This means that potential first-time voters, who have yet to turn 18 years old when the date of the election is announced but will turn 18 in the period after the announcement and before or on the day of the election, will not be able to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

Those seeking to verify their names or to register can do so in the regional registration centres set up at the district administration offices of Anse Boileau, Anse Royale, Beau Vallon and at the Aarti Chambers, Mont Fleuri from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, every week.


Elsie Pointe


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