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NEC announces validity of voter list

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People look for their names on voter lists posted in Phsar Doeum Thkov commune of Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district in October. Heng Chivoan

NEC announces validity of voter list

The National Election Committee (NEC) officially announced the validity of the 2021 voter list, which consists of 9,205,690 voters, or 87.98 per cent of all eligible citizens aged 18 years and over, including 4,904,832 woman.

Em Sophat, an NEC member, said in an online announcement that the lists had been produced and sent to each commune.

All registered voters have also been uploaded to the NEC website voterlist.nac.gov.kh and the NEC app.

“There are 23,602 election stations in 1,652 communes across the country,” Sophat said, adding that among the voters, there are 23,591 people with disabilities.

He said any political party that wanted a copy of the eligible voter list would have to pay for the cost of printing.

The NEC also issued ID cards to 221 journalists, including 24 women, who will cover the election. The journalists are from 35 different media entities across the country.

NEC spokesman Som Sorida told The Post on February 13 that the list will also be used to register political parties and their candidates.

“One of the conditions of standing in the election is that all candidates must be registered as voters in the commune that they are contesting,” he said.

“The list is also used to check that a party’s nominated election monitors are qualified. They too, must be registered at the commune where they intend to observe the election process and vote counting,” Sorida added.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said he could not yet comment on the voter list as he had not examined it thoroughly.

“I cannot cast judgement on it yet. The list must be audited to see whether its accuracy can be trusted,” he said.

He said however that the 2021 voter list will likely be acceptable because while there are many voters on the list, there were only a small number of complaints during the registration process compared to previous elections.

NEC chairman Prach Chan said the electoral system had been revamped, with voter lists upgraded to improve its accuracy.

Chan made the remarks on February 11 during a meeting with UK deputy ambassador Marc Thayre, according to a press release issued after the meeting.

“The election systems have been upgraded, both in legal and technical aspects, from one mandate to another,” it said.

Chan was quoted as saying that since 2016, the registration process has been improved. Whereas it was previously done by hand, the lists are now computerised. All relevant parties acknowledged that they are complete, accurate, and up to date, he said.

“Non-governmental organisations have also engaged in the election process, by observing elections and educating voters,” he said.

Chan also touched on recent complaints regarding a form used to record election results. Known as Form 1102, some political parties claim the form has been changed. He explained that there have been no major changes to the form.

NEC recently announced that the form will no longer be filled out by hand and given to each political party’s agent at polling stations on the day of the election, as they were previously.

After the government had provided funding for the NEC to purchase computers, the committee had decided to change the procedure. It would no longer issue hard copies of the form, but would employ scanners to render digital copies. This would save time and reduce the likelihood of errors, it said.

The form would then be uploaded to its website, so the public could verify results at each commune. Election monitor’s would be sent digital copies.

This was the only change to the process, it said.

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