Close to Half a Million Fijians Register During First Phase of Registration (Republic of Fiji Press Release)
Almost half a million have registered to vote in the first wave of electronic voter registration (EVR) for the 2014 elections. This represents around 80 percent of current eligible domestic voters, with another period of registration to come later in the year, and the first registrations of Fijians living abroad to begin next year.
At the close of the first phase of sixty-one days, 488,734 Fijians registered at Voter Registration Centers (VRCs) that were open in locations across the country.
“This is a great achievement as Fiji moves toward parliamentary elections in 2014,” the Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“The overwhelming turn-out of the Fijian people is a clear indication of their willingness and commitment to participate in the process of building a better Fiji for all.”
“A Fiji that provides the legal and moral foundation for a common and equal citizenry. Where there is no legal obligation to vote along ethnic lines, but where every Fijian over the age of 18 has an equal vote to cast as they choose.”
I believe there are also other reasons why Fijians have so eagerly adopted biometric voter registration. Because it is secured with biometrics, the voter registration card is being accepted as a credible for of ID by all sorts of government ministries. Can private sector entities be far behind?
The CIA World Factbook estimates Fiji’s population in 2012 at 890,057 and estimates that approximately 29% of the population is younger than fifteen years old. So that’s 489,734 enrollments among the over-fourteen population of around 633,000.