National Election Committee officials moved a step closer to the upcoming national elections with their instruction to commune officials to begin posting registered voter lists in local offices on Wednesday.
Voters who registered for the commune council elections one year ago should find their names on the lists and do not need to register again for the national elections.
“This is a good system,” said Lim Seoum, 48, of Wat Phnom commune, Daun Penh district, who looked for his name at his local commune office on Wednesday. “I don’t have to spend time to register again.”
Voters who don’t appear on the registration lists even though they have registered should complain to the commune council; voters who are already listed need only take note of the polling station to which they have been assigned.
Voters registering for the first time—including those who didn’t vote in the 2002 commune council election and those who just turned 18—can go to their local commune council office to register beginning Friday. Proof of citizenship, age and residency is required. Those who have moved from their old commune since last year’s elections can return to their old commune to check the voter list or register in their new commune by requesting a residential certificate from their new commune council, allowing them to register and vote in their new commune.
Every effort is being made to register eligible voters: commune council officers will even travel to hospitals to register patients and to prisons to register anyone not yet convicted of a crime.
Monitors, meanwhile, will oversee the registration process to see that the rules are followed, said Committee for Free and Fair Elections director Koul Panha. More than 1,000 monitors will watch closely to see that voters are not intimidated, that commune clerks have enough time to register everyone and that foreigners are not allowed to register, he said.
Some 6.8 million Cambodians will be eligible to vote in the national elections this year. Three quarters of those voters have already registered.
The NEC estimates that some 12,845 polling stations will be set up by June 26. More than $400,000 already has been spent on materials for the registration process, including cameras, film and educational leaflets.