Maintaining accurate voter registers (electoral rolls) has proven a significant administrative challenge for Melanesian countries (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu). Despite repeated attempts to improve the PNG roll with the support of donors and electoral stakeholders, it remains riddled with irregularities (Haley and Zubrinich 2013). Citizens, international observers, and domestic observers have expressed little confidence in voter enrolments, highlighting that enrolled voters consistently exceed the number of eligible citizens (see Haley and Anere 2009; Ladley, Holtved and Kantha 2010; Commonwealth Secretariat 2012; Haley and Zubrinich 2013). Recent experiences in Fiji and Solomon Islands provide examples of roll improvements supported by biometric technology, although the true costs and benefits associated with biometric voter registration (BVR) in Melanesia are yet to be established. Drawing on election observations undertaken by SSGM scholars in the context of the 2007 and 2012 PNG national elections and the 2014 Solomon Islands elections, this In Brief offers a somewhat sobering assessment of voter registration reforms in Melanesia.
|Journal||State, Society and Governance in Melanesia|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|