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From Parliament: Vote or pay $100 fine

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Office of the Electoral Commission

(SAMOA) — Registered voters who do not cast a ballot in the 2021 General Elections will be fined $100 tala if a bill that calls for mandatory voting — now before Parliament — is passed.

In a statement issued by the Office of the Electoral Commission this week, it says: "Mandatory voting for all registered voters will be a must in the upcoming 2021 General Elections, subject to approval of the Electoral Bill 2018 now before Parliament."

The statement explains:

The 2018 Bill will repeal the 55-year old Electoral Act 1963.

One of the amendments calls for compulsory voting for all registered voters cited in Clause 63; which provides that it is compulsory for every registered person to cast a vote.

“Failure to do so will incur a penalty of $100.00 unless valid or sufficient reasons for not voting are provided to the Commissioner,” said the new pending law.

Currently, it is compulsory for those who have satisfied the eligibility requirements under the Electoral Act to register but it is not mandatory to cast a ballot.

Also included in the new amendments is the time frame for voters to transfer. It will lengthen the current time frame of five years to 10.

(Source: Media Release, Office of the Electoral Commission via the Press Secretariat, Ministry of the Prime Minister & Cabinet)