5 Aug 2010

Calls for electoral roll reform in Solomon Islands after yesterday's poll

3:30 pm on 5 August 2010

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission is calling for reform of the voter list after conceding some people were not able to vote in yesterday's election.

While international observers say reports so far indicate voting was orderly, concerns have been raised that some people are registered twice, while others are not registered at all, and the names of dead people are still on the list.

Jo O'Brien reports from Honiara:

"The Electoral Commission says its not sure how many people were prevented from voting yesterday. But it's aware of people who weren't allowed to vote because their names were misspelt, and says the presence of 440,000 people on an electoral roll in a country of 600,000 people indicates there are problems with the list. It says legislation is at fault because it gives voters only a short time to check the register, and denies the commission the ability to delete names where they are registered twice. But observer groups from the Commonwealth and New Zealand say reports indicate few issues with voting, although the Commonwealth group head, Arthur Donahoe says there were signs people were being transported from one constituency to another. ' Transportation of voters in itself is not an offence, but it was done in numbers, which makes us wonder, although we have no concrete evidence, if people were voting areas where they shouldn't have been.' Arthur Donahoe says the electoral commission needs more resources to ensure there are no glitches on election day. Vote counting has begun this morning with almost all results expected by Wednesday."