The chairman of Vanuatu’s Electoral Commission says he’s told political leaders that the country critically needs a new electoral roll for the next general election. The Commission’s official number of registered voters in the recent general election – over 192,000 – is believed to be a huge inflation of the real number of eligible voters. The chairman John Taleo says the blowout is partly explained by that fact that changes to the voter circumstances, such as people moving to different islands or overseas, or people dying, are often not recorded properly.
He says there is one solution: “We need to have a clean electoral roll. We have to wipe out the old system and then we start again. But it’s a very, very expensive exercise to do that so we are negotiating with the donors now. We are looking at around 100 million (vatu) to clean up the electoral roll now because it’s really messy at the moment.” John Taleo says Vanuatu needs an ID card system to avoid having people vote more than once.