The National Election Committee yesterday commenced the 18-day voter registration period to update the country’s voter list.
Nuth Sokhom, an NEC official, said during a meeting at the NEC headquarters that the election body will carry out its voter registration from October 1 to 18 beginning with communes across the country.
Mr Sokhom said the first five days will focus on the registration of voters at the commune level, while day nine onwards will focus on the village level. During the last four days of registration, the NEC will return to communes.
“The NEC has planned for the registration of 489,963 people,” he said, adding that about 95,928 names have been removed from the voter registration list. “This has the purpose of ensuring accuracy and safety by deleting the names of voters that have passed away, changed their names or their home address.”
Tep Nytha, NEC secretary-general, said that all registration stations are now open and that voters in provinces prone to rain, such as Preah Vihear, will be accommodated.
Mr Nytha said that the National Assembly and the NEC must review the voter list annually for accuracy. He said nearly 25 percent of voters change their home addresses when an election nears.
“The number of people migrating during a non-election year is insignificant,” Mr Nytha said. “They all flock to do their voter registration during an election year.”
Sam Kuntheamy, Nicfec executive director, said yesterday that the use of technology in the registration process has made it simpler for the NEC to keep track of changes.
“The use of computer technology has ensured that double names and ghost names have been red flagged,” Mr Kuntheamy said.
He added that mobile observers will be deployed to monitor the registration process and that Nicfec will do an audit after the registration period.
Kong Monika, Khmer Will Party president, said that the NEC has been neutral and independent in the process, but noted that some local officials are still susceptible to partisanship.
“We have seen some loopholes, while local commune officials remain politically biased,” Mr Monika said. “We will continue to monitor the issue.”