3 Dec 2009

Voter awareness vital for next year's Solomon Islands' elections

8:38 pm on 3 December 2009

There are fears voters in Solomon Islands will not be properly prepared for elections next year because the Government is short of money.

This comes as the Parliamentary Accounts Committee has been told state revenue has fallen sharply as the global economic crisis affects the country more.

Electoral Commission officials say they don't have the funding to launch an awareness campaign on changes to the voting system.

Solomon Islands has changed from having a ballot box for each candidate to a single ballot box, and voters struggleed with the new system when it was trialled in a recent by-election, as our correspondent in Honiara, Dorothy Wickham, reports.

"There was still no clear understanding of how you go through the candidate list, what do you tick, what boxes do you do, and how do you drop it in - there's only one box and there is still no real clear understanding of this and that is the reason why this awareness programme is much more important than in the last election - because of that reason."

Dorothy Wickham.