Today is the deadline for voter registration as outlined in the Referendum timeline.

However, individuals who are in the process of obtaining a new National ID and plan to vote on May 29 will not be affected by this deadline, according to the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Edward Kaltamat.

The Electoral Commission Chairman clarified that with the voter registration now closed, those who missed it would not be added to the electoral roll. However, he reassured that it is still possible to obtain a new ID card for other purposes, and it can still be used for voting on polling day.

Kaltamat explained that the Electoral Office oversees the voter registration, whereas the Civil Registration and Identity Management (CRIM) Office is responsible for the National ID registration and verification.

He explained that the eligibility criteria for voting in the referendum consist of three requirements; the individual must be a citizenship, he or she is 18 years old, and owns a valid National ID card.

These criteria are in place not to restrict eligible voters but to ensure that everyone who is eligible can exercise their right to vote on polling day.

Kaltamat further explained the eligibility criteria for the elections, which include being at least 18 years old, having a National ID card, and being listed on the electoral roll, where as for the referendum, even if someone’s name is not listed on the electoral roll, they can still cast their vote.

He elaborated that after the cutoff date, the Electoral Commission and Office will have a better idea of how many people have registered and are expected to vote.

This will help them with the management of dealing with the referendum voting process and preparation. This will also facilitate an understanding of the voter count per polling station, enabling the preparation of polling materials.

Kaltamat reiterated that since Vanuatu is a single constituency, eligible voters can cast their vote at any polling station, even if their name is not on the electoral list.

Meanwhile, the National ID verification in Port Vila continues today and will close at 5pm. Esther Muluane, a CRIM officer confirmed those that needed to verify their ID cards or make new ones can visit the following areas; Ministry of Health, Vila Central Hospital, Ex-FOL, main market and Anamburu market.