The training will be carried out with the 150 counting officials and 84 scrutineers for all 42 candidates, before counting can begin.
The simulation program, which was scheduled for this morning was delayed because counting officials failed to turn up to the count training at the scheduled time. The counting officials comprise of 30 officials from each of the 8 wards and all candidates are only allowed two scrutineers each to be present.
This was confirmed by Returning Officer, Desmond Timiyaso, who confirmed that counting officials have not had training on the counting process, and thus need to go through this training before counting will begin.
“We are now trying to combine the count simulation with the counting process together, both for the counting officials as well as the scrutineers. Here at the Sir John Guise Stadium I have the ward 11 and ward 8 counting officials, plus those from ward 1 who have actually travelled up and are waiting. We want to combine the 3 wards together for the simulation exercise and then ward one officials can proceed back to their area,” said Timiyaso.
He said currently the simulation exercise is being carried out at the Pacific Institute of Leadership And Governance (PILAG) venue and after the close of the training at PILAG, the lead trainers will then proceed to the Sir John Guise Stadium (SJGS) to conduct training for the 3 wards there before going to Murray Barracks to complete the training program.
“Given the time that we will need to progress with the training, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to start the counting on the scheduled time, which was 1pm. The counting will start after the simulation is complete.
“The commission has actually come up with a strategy to the way we do vote count so there are slight changes to the actual vote count process, that is why we have to conduct a simulation that everyone, the counting officials know what to do and know what is expected of them. The scrutineers need to know exactly what the process is while they are observing,” said Timiyaso.
He said training is the major concern that they have and they want to carry it out before the actual count happens.
“I would like the count to start immediately after the simulation program ends, and this will take about an hour to complete. It is just a demonstration on what is actually done, from the distributing of the ballot papers, the packing of the ballot papers itself and the actual sealing of the ballot papers, per candidate, per count,” He added.