2024 joint ballot papers arrived safely in Solomon Islands

Photo: Solomon Islands Electoral Commission

The Solomon Islands official ballot papers for the 2024 Joint Election are printed and have now arrived in the country on Tuesday this week.

The ballot papers totaling a record of 1 million, cater to voter numbers in a Joint Election, where Solomon Islands voters will now vote for members of the National Parliament and members of either their Provincial Assembly (PA) or Honiara City Council (HCC). 

Voters in the provinces of Western and Choiseul will cast one ballot paper for their choice in the national parliament and will not vote for their provincial assembly representative.

The ballots were also printed in record time, ensuring that they were in place at least two weeks before the poll and Election Day on Wednesday, 17 April, and ready for distribution to all provincial centres.

All the ballot papers were safely delivered with the assistance of the Australian Defence Force(ADF) who will continue with the dispatch of ballot papers and polling materials to provinces in the coming days.

The ballot papers were accompanied into the country by four staff members of the Solomon Islands Electoral Office (SIEO) led by the deputy chief electoral officer, Christina Mitini.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Jasper Highwood Anisi, thanked the Government of Australia for their tremendous support in making sure that the 2024 Joint Election ballot paper is ready in time before the polling day on the 17th April 2024.

He also acknowledged the staff of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) for working around the clock through nominations and the ballot paper delivery, as well as the collaborative effort of various partners including the Australian Government.

To secure the ballots through the embedding of security-proof international-standard watermarks and security features, the printed official ballot papers are designed as follows:

*Provincial Assemblies – Colored green, as it is folded and handed to the voter, and white on the inside when the voter opens the ballot and marks his/her ballot paper.

*Honiara City Council – Colored yellow, as it is folded and issued to the voter, and white on the inside when the voter opens the ballot and marks his/her ballot paper.

*Parliamentary – Colored white as it is folded and issued to the voter, and white on the inside when the voter opens the ballot and marks his/her ballot paper.

The white design of the inside part of the ballot papers considers all these security features, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of the ballot with special watermarked paper.

Voters will continue to receive in their hand, a folded ballot paper that is color-coded to green (provincial assembly), yellow (Honiara City Council), and white (parliament).

After carefully removing a ballot paper from its counterfoil for issuing to a voter, the Ballot Paper Issuer will fold the ballot once, revealing the designated color, and hand it to the voter.

The voter will then be instructed to go behind a voting screen, open the ballot paper, and mark each ballot once, against the candidate of his/her choice. The voter must then fold the ballot paper ONCE, and put each ballot paper in the correct ballot box.

The Ballot Box Guard will always guard the box and will direct the voter to place the folded ballot paper in the correct ballot box.

An orange ballot box collects ballots for parliamentary votes, a green ballot box for provincial assembly ballot papers, and a yellow ballot box for Honiara City Council ballot papers. SIEC is an independent Constitutional Electoral Management Body that is responsible for voter registration and the conduct of elections at the Parliamentary, Provincial Assemblies, and Honiara City Council levels.