28 February 2019, Apia Samoa. Press Release. The 3rd annual National Voters Day will be held in Savaii on the 1st March 2019 to commemorate, celebrate and recognize the importance of raising awareness to vote in a democratic society.
The theme for this year’s National Voters Day is, “Know Your Elections”.
The Office of the Electoral Commission in partnership with the Women in Leadership in Samoa (WILS) Project, WILS – a three-year joint project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women with funding from the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Samoa.
The official program will start with a parade along the Salelologa beach road to the Apita-o-Pisaga Hall from 7:45am and it will be attended by eight Colleges, two youth groups as well as members of the public. The Honourable Minister, Faaolesa Katopau T. Ainuu will deliver the key note address of the day with remarks from the High Commissioner of Australia to Samoa, H.E. Sara Moriarty and Dr. Simona Marinescu, the UN Resident Coordinator.
For this year’s celebration it will focus on targeting the students from both Primary schools and Colleges to take part in several competitions such as poems, speeches and debates. There would also be a mock election activity that aims to familiarize and raise their knowledge about elections in Samoa.
The peem competition is for the Year 7 & 8 students on the topic “What I know about Elections in Samoa”. The poem competition aims to measure the understanding of young children in elections.
Other exciting activities that will take place on the 1st of March are presented as follows:
- Open Day will be a public awareness initiative for the Office of the Electoral Commissioner to showcase functions and services we provide to the public. Each division will have their information booths and will be available for inquiries from the public. This will also be an opportunity for each division to provide public information on any new developments they have published on Elections.
- Interschool Speech competition between 8 Secondary Schools in Savaii with open options given to the schools to express their own views on the Topics,
- Our Traditions should not be subjective to Electoral Boundaries.
E le aiaina e Tuaoi Faapalota le tatou aganuu ma agaifanua.
- The participation of women in politics and development is important.
E taua le auai o tamaitai i upufai o malo mo ni atina’e manuia
- Youth Debate Competition is particularly for two Youths that will be invited to debate on the topic:
- Should we allow Samoan citizens living overseas to vote outside of Samoa on Election Day.
E tatau ona tatou fa’atagaina tagatanu’u Samoa o nonofo i atunuu i fafo e palota i fafo atu o Samoa i le aso o Faiga Palota.
The participating colleges include, Alofi-o-Taoa, Amoa College, Palauli Sisifo College, Mataaevave College, Don Bosco College, Itu-o-Tane College and Tuasivi College. The Youth groups for the debates are the Iva EFKS Youth and the Methodist Youth- Vaega Satupaitea.
The general public and other schools are also welcome to take advantage of the opportunity to engage with the Celebration of the National Voters Day to gain an in-depth understanding of the functions and roles of the Office of the Electoral Commissioner.
This is an annual event celebrated every year in conjunction with the General Election.