Who Said Election Day will be Chaos?

Draft ballot paper
I'm losing track  of who says what about what is wrong with whatever government does, but I think it was Mahendra Chaudhry who said voting day would be chaos with many people not able to select the right number from among 300 or so candidates. And the NFP also had some resrvations.

Yet all voters have to do is remember one three-digit number for two to three minutes.
This could not possibly produce a worse result than the rushed 2006 election when the complexity of the alternative vote and the above/below party-directed choice resulted in nearly one in ten votes being declared invalid.

The Elections Office website spells out what will happen.

Those intending to vote will have to have registered by 4 August. Overseas voters, those working on election day, the sick and elderly and those living in very remote areas will vote before the elections. Everyone else will vote between 7:30 am and 6:00 pm at the polling station (one of 2,000) closest to where they live on Wednesday 17 September, which has been declared a public holiday to encourage a high turnout.

To vote, voters will need their voting registation ID (or if this is lost or forgotten, a finger print will be taken and the vote allowed if the print matches that on the ID). Voters are not allowed to talk (except to election officials)  or take a sample voting paper or instructions on how to vote into the station and they must not use their cell phones.

Inside the polling station there will be several large notices showing the number, name and photo of each candidate. The voter has to take the ballot paper to a private voting booth and put a cross, tick or circle around one number, that of his or her chosen candidate. In previous elections only a cross was valid. A finger of each voter will then be marked in ink to prevent voting twice.

The process will be overseen by election officials, foreign and other observers and representatives of the political parties, and when the votes are counted at each polling station, any one of them can ask for a recount.

Final results will be posted securely to the Supervisor of Elections whose team, overseen by the candidates, foreign and other observers, political parties and the media, will record the votes cast for each candidate and each political party.

The results will then be forwarded to to the Electoral Commission who will calculate the allocation of parliamentary seats,  having deduced candidates who failed to reach the 5% threshold, using a formula in use in at least 39 other countries.

If people think this will create chaos, they have stayed up too late playing computer games. -- ACW.


ELECTION TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
The Electoral Office has invited tenders for the software that will be use in the elections.  Some indication of the size of the task in shown in what is expected of the software. It will have to handle up to 560,000 registered voters, up to 2,000 polling stations and an estimated 300 candidates competing in a single cnstituency for 50 seats, using a preferential representation open list system applying the d’Hondt formula. The results forms will be processed at a tallying centre in Suva and comprise 8-10 fields.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lessons from Africa

Fijian Holdings Scandal: Betrayal by their trusted sons

The Ratu Tevita Saga, Coup4.5, Michael Field, the ANU Duo, and Tonga