21 Jan 2016

Ghost names on Vanuatu electoral roll

4:36 pm on 21 January 2016

The chair of Vanuatu's electoral commission says ghost names of the electoral roll continue to be a problem and there are reports of some ballot boxes being moved ahead of tomorrow's snap election.

John Taleo of Vanuatu Electoral Commission

John Taleo of Vanuatu Electoral Commission Photo: RNZI Jamie Tahana

John Taleo says the reports are being taken seriously and are under investigation.

He says he is also concerned about the number of dead people who have not been removed from electoral rolls, duplicate names, and people registering under false names, which he says opens the field for double voting and electoral fraud.

"The population of Vanuatu is 200,000-plus, but the electoral roll still has 200,159 [as the] total registered for this, which is because there are some duplicates, and there are some dead people who still exist on the roll."

Mr Taleo says the commission hopes to one day have the funding to introduce a biometric system, similar to that recently introduced in Solomon Islands.

But he says despite several challenges, he is satisfied with the preparations for tomorrow's election.