2021 general election cost $2.76 million tala


The General Elections 2021 proved extraordinarily costly compared to other years for both government and voters. 

This was confirmed in the Commission of Inquiry 72-page report obtained by Radio Polynesia. It points out that the absence of unique booths prevented many voters from Savaii and other rural areas from voting as they were required in this 2021 election to travel back to their natal villages to cast their vote. 

The report was prepared by Chairman Tuu’u Dr. Ieti Taulealoa, Faamausili Dr. Matagialofi Lua’iufi; Feesago Geogre Fepuleai; Letuiman’usina Dr Emma Kruse-Vaai, Peseta Arasi Tiotio; Reverend Tavita Roma; Erelini Vaiao Eteuati; Leulua’ialii Tasi Malifa; Tupuola Koki Tuala and Vaaelua Rimoni Vaaelua.

Public transport was also poorly managed on polling days, and in effect, the general public was frustrated with new changes that were not enabling. The four (4) pre-polling days tallied 8,553 voters (7%), and the one (1) Election Day added 115,019 voters (93%).

For the 2021 General Elections, $2,762,571.21 was spent compared to approximately $1,000,000+ in other years. 

Furthermore, during the four pre-polling days, $465,496.00 was spent. If one day was allocated for pre-polling, $349,122.00 could have been saved and used for other purposes

The Commission made the following recommendations as follows:

  • a. The exact timing for the general election be stipulated and legislated as being end of February to the beginning of March so that the elected government is enabled to plan accordingly and prepare the Budget.
  • b. GoS reconsiders the allocation of voting days as well as the set-up of Polling Booths during the general election. A single day be assigned for pre-polling for the elderly and special needs and that the special polling booths be reinstated in the urban areas for the rural and village voters who live and work closer to town.
  • c. For General Election 2026 adequate and stipulated hours are allocated for polling booths to remain open. The hours from 7.00am until 5.00pm are appropriate as the OEC staff can stay overnight close to the Polling Booths to enable an early start. At the consultations, many voiced their discontent with being prevented from voting because the polling booths had closed—more on the Commission report in later bulletins.