How the back of the new Voter's ID Card looks. Photo credit: SIBC.

How the back of the new Voter’s ID Card looks. Photo credit: SIBC.

Transparency Solomon Islands has heard allegations that the new biometric registration system designed to reduce election fraud is being abused by candidates.

The group is calling on the government to make it illegal for anyone to buy or collect voter registration cards.

Transparency chief executive Daniel Fenua has received reports of one candidate buying official voter registration cards and exchanging them for his own ‘supporter cards’.

The intending candidate then intends to return the official cards to voters with a cash incentive to vote his way.

Pacific Islands News Association reports – Fenua told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat, voters cards will be given back with some cash just before the polling date as some influence for people to vote for them.

Meanwhile, chief electoral officer Polycarp Haununu argues there is no guarantee that buying votes yields results, given there is no way of knowing which candidate a voter chose.

Mr Haununu said it’s up to the electors to choose to vote for that person, or otherwise.

Haununu says he has not yet received any formal complaint against candidates buying voter registration cards.

He says the electoral commission and police will only be able to investigate the allegations if a formal complaint is made.

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