Minor Snags Expected for Registration

There may not be enough ma­terials and not everyone may know where to go, but elections officials said Sunday they should be able to muddle through to­day’s start of voter registration.

Im Suorsdei, general secretary of the National Election Com­mittee, said that provincial and com­munal election commissions have reported equipment failures, including cameras that do not work and shortages of registration materials.

“It is very difficult for the whole country, but we will try our best to resolve the problems,” Im Suor­sdei said. “We lack some materials, but we will try to take things from some other places.”

About 2,000 registration teams will begin issuing voter cards throughout the country today. They are expected to spend two and a half days at each center, registering up to 700 people at each site before moving on.

Michael Meadowcroft, a director of the European Union’s assistance project for the elections, acknowledged that today’s pro­cess might have some glitches and that some more-remote areas have had trouble getting all of their materials.

“I think the first day or so will be fairly rocky until people get into the swing of it. Once people settle down, it will go fairly smooth­ly,” he said.

He downplayed reports of equip­ment failure, saying the prob­lems would be easily re­solved. “There are spare cameras everywhere in all the pro­vinces. I think it is all fairly minor.”

Meadowcroft said he was more concerned that Cambodians know which areas are being registered over the next few days.

A media blitz begun May 4 to publicize the process has emphasized that voters must register in order to participate in the scheduled July 26 polls. But radio and television spots are more general and do not name which centers will be operating this week.

“Everything has been fairly last-minute in terms of [publicizing] where polling stations are,” Mea­dowcroft said. “I’m just hoping people will know where to turn up.”

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