The campaign for the 2022 general election in Fiji is well underway, with more than 600,000 registered voters set to cast their ballots next month.
However, a Facebook user claimed that the vote-by-mail application forms could not be downloaded online.
This is incorrect. Applications to vote by mail opened on October 30 and close at 5:00 pm on November 23. During this period, forms could be downloaded online from the Fiji Electoral Office (FEO) website or collected in person.
The claim was made in a post (archived here) shared on November 19.
“Postal ballot applications cannot be downloaded online. This is corruption number one by the supervisor of elections,” she said.
An instructional video shared by the FEO on Facebook explains that application forms can be picked up in person at an FEO office or downloaded online. Once the data was completed, the form could be returned to any office or uploaded to the FEO website along with a copy of the person’s voter identification card.
AAP Fact Check followed the steps provided and was able to download the forms.
Voting by mail is eligible for registered Fijian voters living abroad, in remand or prison, and those who are unable to visit a polling station on election day due to illness, religious beliefs, or work commitments.
In a statement to AAP Fact Checkan FEO spokesperson confirmed that the vote-by-mail application form can be downloaded online.
“The form was always available on our website, without any problem. Voters using a laptop or PC to download the form would not have had a problem.
“On a mobile device, if the user had not enabled certain download permissions, they would have had difficulty downloading the form in their chosen browser.
“We had also shared a Google Drive link to the form on FB (Facebook) so people could easily download it.”
He said more than 8,000 applications to vote by mail have been received for the 2022 election, which will take place on December 14.
The claim that postal vote application forms for the Fiji 2022 election could not be downloaded online is false. Application forms were available both in person and online through the Fiji Electoral Office website from October 30 to November 23.
AAP Fact Check you were able to download the forms by following the steps provided.
Fake – The statement is inaccurate.
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