The electoral commissioner for Samoa, says constituency boundaries is one of the key reasons behind the struggle of the electoral system come election time.
“The current status of our electoral boundaries have contributed to some of the issues we have in our electoral system and process,” says Faimalomatumua Matthew Lemisio.
The four day conference held at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel is to explore issues and challenges the electoral system continuously faces every election but also to raise awareness and possible changes for its development.
Faimalomatumua says the conference is the perfect time for Samoa to start looking into the structure of its electoral grounds so they can further improve the electoral system.
“Some of the abnormalities that we’ve discovered in the current setup is the fact that the village of Tafua in Savaii is part of the Palauli le Falefa electoral constituency yet it is located at Faasaleleaga,” he said.
He says the inconvenient locations contribute to the confusion and the many clashes in voting procedures.
“In the east side of Upolu we have Faleapuna which is in the district of Anoama’a Sasae but for electoral purposes they are part of the Vaa o Fonoti constituency,” he added.
The same goes for the southern side, where Salamumu is located geographically however, people living there, must cast their vote in Savaii because they are part of a constituency in Savaii.
Faimalomatumua hopes that by the end of today’s conference, they would have an idea of how to resolve the issue or at least a format to alleviate the delays caused by the confusion.
*Nefertiti Matatia is a final year Media and Journalism student of the National University of Samoa.