First in line at one of the Suva-based polling venues this morning, 82-year-old Jotame Rasele said he was driven to vote out of concern for the land.
Employed still, Mr. Rasele made advance arrangements to get time off work in order to vote today. He had breakfast at 4 am, and was at the polling venue two hours later, more than an hour ahead of the start of polls at 7.30 am.
Regarding the voting process, he said it was a pleasant experience and had no issues casting his vote, encouraging others to have their say as well before polls close at 6 pm today, a call that has also been echoed by Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem based on turnout rate within less than four hours of the start of voting.
A total of 606,092 voters are registered to vote in the one-day event, but as of 11 am, only 27.24% of voters equating to 169,954 have had their say in 1145 polling stations across the country which Mr. Saneem said was “not looking promising.”
Mr Saneem is hopeful that the numbers will change as the day progresses, urging voters who have not already done so “to show up and vote.”
Those who have voted have also been asked to check on their families who have not voted and encourage them to do so.
Meanwhile, the free transport provision is still available, and the route, as well as pick-up timings, can be acquired via contacting the designated person whose details are available via the 1500 texting platform.
The FEO has also changed around the mode of transportation, opting for carriers or minivans in areas difficult to reach via bus.
More than 1400 polling stations are operational today, closing at 6 pm or when the last voter in the queue at 6pm has voted.