Fiji’s low youth vote due to address records

A young Fijian ready for the December 14 elections.

A drastic drop in the voter turn-out for young people is of concern for the Fiji Elections Office.

Only 58.46% of eligible voters aged 18 to 20 years voted in the 2022 general election.

The Acting Supervisor of Elections, Ana Mataiciwa says that one of the main issues with young voters was change of address. Many young people had moved from the address recorded on the voter roll, and had not updated their details.

“I’ll just urge those within that age group and even the registered voters, please make use of our online portal,” Mataiciwa told a recent media briefing. “Check your details and if you know you haven’t updated your address, do come to our voter services center to update your address.”

Mataiciwa says the total number of national register voters stands at 695,435.

The Northern Division recorded the highest voter turn-out, followed by the Eastern Division, the Western Division and the Central Division.

FEO data shows that more women voted with 50.4% of the total vote. Most of the voters who turned up on the election day were within the 41 to 70 years age group.

Mataiciwa says that FEO is currently working on a skeleton staff, and the office does not have the human resources to conduct another voter survey, but that they will take the opportunity of registrations for the municipal elections to collect data.

“That is one area where we believe we can utilise the human resources for the registrations for municipal elections to also do voter survey for the 2022 General Election.”

Fiji voters can now also access their voter details online by entering their Voter Card Number and Date of Birth on the Online services Portal.