Observers highlight instances of double voting, delays

National

The Melanesian Spearhead Observer Group have come across reports of double voting by people who openly claimed to have voted twice after erasing the voting ink from their little finger.
In their observation released yesterday, the group said: “We witnessed some bold attempts at double voting that were foiled by alert polling officials and scrutineers.
“We noticed and acknowledge that the absence of an official voter identity card made it difficult for officials both to ascertain and to ensure that no one under 18 years was voting as well as to prevent the urge for double voting.
“Voter identification remains a major issue for voters and officials, and its determined resolution would greatly assist in the transparency of the entire election process.”
The group also noted long delays in the opening of stations on polling days.
“In fact, no polling station we visited ever opened on time at 8am,” the group said.
“During the counting period, there were long, unexplained delays before the official counting started – in several instances, well over two to three days.
“Despite the challenges, we are pleased to note that the polling stations visited by the group were manned by committed polling officials.”

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