BY ALEX DADAMU
DESPITE a few complaints by voters who could not find their names on the electoral lists, the by-election for Central Honiara Constituency and North East Guadalcanal Constituency was described as very ‘peaceful’.
The COVID-19 pandemic added an extra layer of complexity to Election arrangements this year, all polling stations had hand-sanitizer, hand washing stations and voters have been advised at the polling station to follow COVID-19 protocols by washing their hands and practicing social distancing.
According to a statement by New Zealand’s High Commission office in Honiara, it is heartening for us to see such a strong turnout of voters, including women and young people.
“We saw good observance of practicing social distancing protocols. It’s also heartening to observe a calm and well-managed process.
“We had a great time observing the two by-elections held yesterday: one in North East Guadalcanal and the other in Central Honiara – even though access to some of the polling stations involved some wading through rivers or climbing up long staircases,” New Zealand’s High Commission office in Honiara stated.
Meanwhile, some voters in the Central Honiara Constituency (CHC) has raised grievances stating that their names are not on the electoral lists.
Sam Suiomea, a voter in the Central Honiara Constituency told Sunday Isles Newspaper that he could not locate his name on the electoral list despite having checked in five other polling stations, he expressed that during the 2019 National General Elections (NGE) his allocated polling station is at the Honiara City Council compound.
Mr. Suiomea said when he made queries to polling agents, the only reply was for them to search for their names in other polling stations in the constituency.
“This is frustrating because it seems that the SIEC have gotten our names mixed up and attached to other electoral list at other polling stations,” Mr. Suiomea said.
Reports confirmed that all ballot boxes in North East Guadalcanal Constituency (NEGC) were transported to Honiara by Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) officers following the closure of voting.
All the boxes are being kept overnight by the RSIPF and the counting process has started as of 10 am this Morning.