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Voters' register: Electoral Commission of Seychelles calls on citizens to verify and register 

Victoria, Seychelles | April 2, 2024, Tuesday @ 15:51 in National » GENERAL | By: Alisa Uzice Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4085
Voters' register: Electoral Commission of Seychelles calls on citizens to verify and register 

The chief registration officer officially, Sheena Boniface (middle) certified the register, before presenting a copy to the chief electoral officer, Manuella Amesbury. (Seychelles News Agency)

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The Electoral Commission of Seychelles is urging people to ensure that they complete the registration process for the voters' register on time.

The chief registration officer, Sheena Boniface, made the statement at the official certification of the Voters' Register 2024 at the National Library on Tuesday.

Boniface told reporters that this is due to the registration procedures that include home verification visits.

"This is one of the reasons why we ask people to complete the procedures in advance and not to wait for an election year. These visits take time. For example, following a visit to a post-secondary school last year, we received 93 applications for registration in one day, which means 93 home visits that we have to plan according to the applicants' schedule, including other applications," she explained.

Boniface said, "One of the challenges that we've faced in 2023, is a lack of cooperation from the applicants. Some clients make it difficult to conduct verification visits either through the descriptions they give, or they are not available most times. Sometimes our staff are conducting visits until 6.30 p.m. Even though they scheduled a specific time with the client they may have to visit someone two or three times because they are not home."

She added that delaying these procedures may mean that the person in question may not be added to the voters' register on time for the next election.

"We always say that you need to be election-ready. An election may be announced at any time. Apart from the main election that happens every five years, if a member of the National Assembly resigns; an election needs to happen," said the chief registration officer.

The official ceremony for the certification of the voters' register was held in the presence of the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Danny Lucas, and other officials of the Commission.

The chief registration officer officially certified the register, before presenting a copy to chief electoral officer, Manuella Amesbury.

The register applies to transactions recorded between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, and there are 73,343 registered voters on the register, out of which 37,756 are female and 35,587 are male.

The district with the greatest number of registered voters is Anse Etoile with 4,008 voters, and the district with the least number of registered voters is Port Glaud, with 1,968 voters.

There were also 827 deceased people removed from the register, of which 455 are female and 372 are male. Boniface confirmed that this was done according to information the Electoral Commission received from the Department of Civil Status.

Boniface elaborated that according to the National Population Database (NPD), as of December 2023, 1,678 citizens would have turned 18 and therefore are eligible to vote.  

She confirmed that only 226 have come forward to register their names on the voters' register.

"Most of the people on this list are students so they may be studying abroad or they could have started their first jobs and not have the time to register. We cannot say for sure what are the reasons why the majority of them have not registered. According to the NPD, it is expected that there will be 1,607 people who will be turning 18 years old this year," Boniface added.

Apart from the people turning 18 years old, she said that the Electoral Commission also recorded several first-time voters and they are people of varying ages who had not yet registered even if they were eligible. In total, there were 669 applications.

For 2023, there were also 11 applications from people who have naturalised citizenship, 27 from returning residents and 8 applications for re-instatements from prisoners.

Boniface said the Electoral Commission also faced several challenges in 2023, namely the reluctance of eligible voters to register and the lack of response and support from political parties in mobilising their supporters to register and conduct transactions accordingly. 

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Tags: Electoral Commission of Seychelles, Voters' Register 2024, National Population Database

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