Port Vila, Vanuatu — The Vanuatu Electoral office received a boost in operations with the hand-over of 100 international standard ballot boxes which will be used in the scheduled March 2018 Port Vila municipal elections.
The ballot boxes have a 45-liter capacity, are translucent, and come in rigid plastic containers, with numbered seals. The ballot boxes meet Vanuatu’s specific needs as identified by the Electoral office as well as meeting international standards.
Expressing appreciation for the procurement of the ballot boxes, the Principal Electoral Officer for the Vanuatu Electoral Office, Father Charles Vatu said, “This is a huge step as far as Vanuatu Elections office is concerned.
Having modern ballot boxes with the security seals adds to the transparency and credibility of elections, helping Vanuatu to meet the international standards of conducting democratic elections”.
This is part of the support provided under the recently launched three and half year project to provide technical support to the Vanuatu Electoral Office, by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.
Adding his appreciation, the Minister for Internal Affairs, Hon. Alfred Maoh said, “This will raise the profile of the Electoral Office to become more efficient in their operations during elections, be it provincial or national elections to avoid discrepancies in relation to elections in Vanuatu.”
“Again, let me acknowledge the continuous support from UNDP and other UN agencies to Vanuatu Government and its people with the procurement of new transparent Ballot Boxes to be used by the Electoral Office for future elections ahead,” said Hon. Maoh.
It is expected that the Vanuatu Electoral office will provide training for polling staff on the use of the ballot boxes as well as develop public outreach messages informing voters of the key features of these new international standard ballot boxes.
“The support that UNDP provides through the electoral support project supports the broader efforts of the Vanuatu Government to instigate reform and strengthen the capacity of the Vanuatu Electoral Office,” said Effective Governance Team Leader for the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Dyfan Jones.
“These new ballot boxes are a visible sign of the development and strengthening of the Vanuatu Electoral Office, while behind the scenes there is also much work ongoing through UNDP support to improve the organisational structure of the elections office, develop more outreach to the people and improve voter registration.”
“Improving the capacity of the Vanuatu Electoral Office will contribute to its ability to manage the political change process through credible electoral processes,” said Jones.
The boxes were handed over on Friday 1 December 2017.