NEC Voter Registration Pilot Comes Up Short of Goal

The National Election Committee (NEC) on Sunday ended its 15-day pilot test of a new computerized voter registration system, but managed to register only half of its goal of 32,528 adults.

“We think that this program was successful, but we had some problems with the number of people who come to register and problems related to technology,” said Hang Puthea, the NEC spokesman.

Beginning November 1, the pilot program tested a new system that uses biometric data such as fingerprints and photographs to compile a voter list.

Over the course of the test period, NEC officials encountered problems with Internet access and a lack of electricity in the countryside, along with poor turnout.

Mr. Puthea said that over the next few days, the NEC would gather and analyze recommendations from election monitoring groups from the European Union and Japan to develop better procedures for compiling a new voter list ahead of the 2017 commune elections and 2018 national election.

“After we have [a] new procedure, we will start to prepare all the materials for the official voter registration in 2016,” Mr. Puthea said.

Based on the results of the pilot, Japanese officials yesterday pledged $1 million for a computer system to store the voter list, Mr. Puthea said.

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