|Queues but not enough: pic Fiji Times|
After making bold predictions it would register 600,000 voters in 60 days, the regime failed to achieve its target even after extending the registration period by a day.
As shown in Graph 1 below, it registered just 488,734 people leaving a shortfall of 111,266.
By division, as shown in Graph 2 above, Central (as expected) recorded the largest share of registrations at 40% followed with Western next at 38%, rhen Northern at 17% and Eastern at 5%.
While the regime is claiming the registration process has been a success, the result is nothing to celebrate especially when it is compared with registrations for the last two general elections in 2001 and 2006 as shown in Graph 3 below.
Graph 3: Voter Registration 2012 In Comparison with 2001 and 2006
For the 2001 elections, there were 468,772 registered voters and 479,674 for the 2006 elections (source: Report by the Commonwealth Observer Group, pg. 21).
What the above shows is that the number of registered voters increased by 10,902 or 2.3% in 2006 over 2001, and by a slower rate of 9,060 or 1.8% in 2012 over 2006.
The slower rate in 2012 is surprising and should be a matter of serious concern for the regime for it has not achieved their desired result with the inclusion of teenagers from 16 year olds, who should be at least 18 by the time of the proposed elections in 2014 to be able to vote.
In general terms the regime appears to have achieved very little with the introduction of its electronic voter registration system.
It acquired a very costly system, deployed a large team of voter registration officers, and heavily promoted its programme only to achieve about the same result that a manual registration process would have done.
The results show up the weaknesses of the regime's criticisms about the credibility of registrations for past elections, how they were inefficient, biased in favour of one racial grouping, and failing to capture all eligible voters.