18 Nov 2010

Voting numbers in Cook Islands elections increases after late registerations

9:11 am on 18 November 2010

The total number of Cook Islands voters casting their vote in today's general elections is expected to increase following late registrations being received by the electoral office.

Just over 10,000 people have registered to vote.

Our correspondent in Rarotonga, Florence Syme Buchanan reports:

"A spokesperson from the electoral office says late registrations aren't unusual but they won't know what the total Cook Islands voting roll will be until the final count is done. The Electoral Office says the final count will be completed some days after tonight's preliminary count of votes cast in the general elections. This is because ballot boxes will need to be returned from the northern and southern group islands of the Cook group."

Six officials from the Pacific Islands Forum are in Rarotonga to observe the preparations and processes involving election, polling, vote counting and results that will take place in the Cook Islands general elections. There has been a steady stream of people casting their votes at the 14 polling booths on the main island of Rarotonga since the polls opened at 9 am local time. Rarotonga has ten seats in the 24-seat Parliament.