POLICE will soon investigate voters that have registered more than once during the recent biometric voter registration.
Depending on police’s investigation they will be prosecuted.
Chief electoral officer Polycap Haununu said details of almost 6000 people who have registered more than once are in the process of being forwarded to police for investigations to determine whether or not they should be charged with a criminal offence.
“The role of the SIEC is to administer voter registration and elections. It is the role of police to investigate and prosecute criminal offences and that is why the names of those who have registered multiple times will be handed over to the RSIPF,” Haununu said.
He said despite registering more than once, these people can still be able to vote using their first registration since the law does not give the commission the power to take away a person’s right to vote although they were found to have attempted to defraud the system.
Adding under the country’s constitution, voting is the right of all citizens who have reached the age of 18 years.
Haununu further explained that for all the cases of double registration, the commission will allow a person’s first registration to remain on the list and will delete all subsequent registrations.
“The first registration of a person who registered more than once will appear on the provisional voters list highlighted in yellow. Everyone should check the list especially if they believe they registered more than once. No one will be allowed to vote more than once,” Haununu said.
Asked if those who have been registering twice will be prosecuted since they have already committed an offence, Haununu said there may be some cases where people have registered more than once by mistake or because they were confused about the law.
“For example, someone may have believed that they were allowed to register to vote in Honiara, where they reside, and in their home constituency and then chose where they want to vote closer to the election.
“The law is very clear that each person may only register once. While it is ultimately a matter for the police, we would hope that people who have made an honest mistake in registering twice would not be penalized for this misunderstanding,”Haununu added
However, the CEO stressed that there are a large number of cases where there appears to have been a clear attempt to defraud the system.
Adding some went to the length of registering under false names up to nine occasions.
“Again this is a matter for the police but we would hope that these people would be prosecuted and feel the full force of the law,” Haununu stressed.
BY DANIEL NAMOSUAIA