REGISTERED voters in Buma ward, west Kwara’ae constituency, Malaita Province who have lost their 2014 national general election (NGE) identification (ID) cards have been denied the opportunity to update their details.
Most of the voters have registered during the 2014 election and decided to switch constituency and wanted to update their registration details inorder to vote come the 2019 election.
However, when they turned up at the registration venue at Buma they were stopped by the registration officers from proceeding with the process because they fail to present 2014 voter ID cards.
And this had forced the voters to asked the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) to explain the situation.
A visit by the Solomon Star to Laugwata polling station last week confirmed that a good number of voters were denied the opportunity to update their details by filling up a form because they have lost their 2014 registration ID cards.
“I can’t update by registration details to vote in another constituency because I lost my ID card. The registration officers don’t allow me to register unless I present my previous ID card,” a villager told the paper.
A village elder Colson Silise said he has experienced similar problem and was denied the opportunity to update his registration details because he could not locate his ID card.
“I lost my registration ID card two years ago so I can’t proceed to update my details inorder to vote in the constituency which I’m currently residing in,” Silise claimed.
Mr Silise said he is worried that this may force him to remain and vote in his previous constituency where he last registered in.
“I now live in a different place and constituency therefore I wish to update my registration details inorder to vote in the coming national general election,” Mr Silise said.
One of the assistance returning officers at the registration venue speaking to the paper said he is not in a right position to comment on the situation facing the registered voters who have lost their ID cards.
He said the electoral commission is in a right position clarify this issue to the public.
The Electoral Commission last week in a statement said replacement of all voter ID cards for those who have lost their ID cards won’t be possible in this update.
“Card replacements will be dealt with later for those who have lost their cards from 2014 and want it replaced,” the statement said.
Registration of all new voters and those who want to update their registration details because they are switching constituencies is currently underway nation-wide.
It commenced last Monday, 3rd September and will officially conclude at the end of this month, 27th September.
By SOLOMON LOFANA