Thirty five young people from around the country engaged in an informative and interactive voter education session with the Fiji Elections Office representatives at the National Youth Forum convened by the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF). The youth participants welcomed the visit, stating that the session has immensely helped them to better understand the elections process and how they can vote.
CCF invited the Elections Office to conduct voter education with young people at the National Youth Forum 2014, which is funded by the European Union and Conciliation Resources.
Frances Naruma, student at the University of Fiji, said the voter education session has enabled her to better understand the whole elections process.
“The voter education session has informed me of how the Electoral Commission works and the three different types of voting which are pre-polling, postal and on the polling day voting,” said Naruma.
“I now have better understanding on how the results will be tallied,” said Naruma.
CCF Chief Executive Officer, Rev Akuila Yabaki says “With a new system of voting; one person, one vote, one value working in partnership with the Elections Office is critically important in assisting young people to learn how to vote. The bulk of voters being young people under 30 years and voting for the first time and CCF regards this as achievable that goal at this moment,”
“Next September 17 marks an important day; a milestone in Fiji’s history when citizens are to vote for the return to constitutional democracy and CCF believe it’s a day of celebration when power is returned to the people of Fiji,” said Yabaki.
Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Partnership Coordinator at the Elections Office, Losana McGwan says voter education is vital and calls on youth groups to on youth groups to invite the elections to carry out voter education.
“It is vitally important for us as the Fijian Elections Office that all citizens of Fiji are fully aware of the Electoral process and apart from going around to each and every community in Fiji conducting voter awareness we’re also thankful to organizations, groups, companies etc who have invited us to conduct this. We invite youth groups out there who would like our team to come and explain the process to do so,” said McGwan.
“It is very encouraging to note the interest from young people and the interest to know more about the Electoral process and this stems from the quantities of questions that have been asked but as mentioned we’re happy to answer any queries relating to the Electoral process at any given time. ,” added McGwan.
The Elections Office also facilitated a mock voting session with the youth participants to assist their understanding of how to cast their votes on 17th September.
John Peckham, Youth Volunteer, said the mock voting has enabled him to understand what to do and how to vote.
“It gave me a better view on how it’s going to be like on elections day and that the voting process is very simple” said Peckham.
“The ballot paper and the candidates list is very easy to use and cast your vote,” Peckham added.
For questions and interviews contact Nazeem Kasim, CCF Communications Officer on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/177335582880/?ref=br_tf to view the pictures from the National Youth Forum 2014.