NEC To Update Voter List

The National Election Committee this year plans to delete some 100,000 registered voters who were convicted of crimes, died or moved since 2009 and add about 320,000 names to the voter list as part of its yearly changes, officials said yesterday.

“We have to reform the voter list to be better from one year to another, as well as to cancel the false names,” NEC President Im Suosdey said at a news conference in the capital yesterday.

According to an NEC statement yesterday, 104,124 names are to be deleted by the end of the year: 54,212 people who moved, 26,785 who died and 23,127 convicts.

The statement said the NEC would add to the voter list 319,193 names of people who registered this year or moved. Currently, 8,592,789 people are registered to vote.

Koy Bunroeun, a Takeo province lawmaker for the opposition SRP, urged the government yesterday to stop using the 1018 voter identification form, which has been criticized as offering an opportunity for fraud.

“When the people do not have the [national] ID and they use the 1018 form, it causes a huge problem,” Mr Bunroeun said. He added that the government should extend the expiration dates on the roughly four million national identification cards set to expire before the 2012 national commune elections.

Mr Bunroeun also claimed that some 500,000 voter names needed to be expurgated from voter lists, which NEC officials denied.

Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said yesterday that the government encouraged people to go to their commune offices to apply for an ID card. But he said those who don’t still have the right to vote and would be issued a 1018 form if need be.

“We should be leaving [the 1018 form] if possible, that’s why we encourage people to get the identification card,” Lt Gen Sopheak said. “If you don’t have the ID card, you come to the commune office…. They will provide the 1018 form for them to vote.”

  (Additional reporting by Clancy McGilligan)


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