The Ministry of Interior has urged the municipal and provincial governors to provide further instructions to commune clerks to pay close attention in performing their duties when verifying the 2021 voter list and registration.
The ministry said the work must be completed in accordance with the law and procedures. It said transparency in the work will ensure that voter verification and registration runs smoothly and be completed on time.
According to the National Election Committee (NEC) calendar, the voter verification and registration process commenced on October 12 and will run through November 30.
In a notice dated October 18, ministry secretary of state Sak Setha said that to complete verification and registration on time and achieve a good result as per the NEC plan, provincial governors have to instruct each commune clerk to perform their duties effectively.
The commune clerks must be regularly present at the workplace unless there is a personal reason such as illness or emergency. If the commune clerks are absent and unable to perform their duties, they should report to the commune chief and request leave.
“The town or district governor shall coordinate and assign one administration official to perform the work related to voter list verification, rather than depend on a commune clerk who could be absent or a commune that has no clerk. This is to ensure the sustainability of the work,” the ministry said, adding that any training for clerks during this time should be postponed.
NEC spokesman Sorm Sorida said that in principle, when the NEC conducts elections it always delegates power to the commune council in reviewing the annual voter list and registration, including the commune clerk’s duty to monitor the implementation and performance of the voter registration team.
In explaining the role of the voter registration group, Sorida cited Article 50 of the Law on the Election of Members of the National Assembly which consists of three components: first, chief of the voter registration team, who was elected and appointed by the NEC; second, the deputy chief of the voter registration team, who is also the commune clerk; and third, a member has to be a computer operator selected by the NEC.
“So the commune clerk needs to be appointed as the deputy chief of the voter registration team. After the chief has checked that the applicant meets all the requirements, he allows registration to proceed. The second step is that the deputy head has to fill out a hybrid application form to register to vote,” he said.
If the commune clerk is absent, it is equal to the absence of the chief of the voter team. So, the team needs the commune clerk to be at the voter registration office on a regular basis, he said.