The National Registrar (CNR) and Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) are scrambling to get 98.2% of new voters to register before September 12th when, according to the electoral calendar, the window for registration closes. These new voters are all youth born between September 12th and March 11th, 1994 and will be turning 18 before the March 11th, 2012 elections.
This is an even larger challenge for the government institutions because the Legislative Assembly has yet to approve the electoral budget. The funds would allow the TSE, the CNR and the different political parties to campaign for voter registration and trainings about the new electoral reforms. The Assembly only passed the ballot reforms two weeks ago, and they are still negotiating reforms for Independent Candidates.
This morning, Voices on the Border attended a meeting between civil society organizations and representatives from the TSE and CNR. The President of the TSE, Eugenio Chicas, said it’s too late now for them to effectively reach out to new voters, since these campaigns take at least 3 months to carry out. Instead, the strategy is to rely on Churches and Non Governmental Organizations to help inform Salvadoran youth. This Saturday the TSE and CNR will also be tabling at a National Youth Convention in San Salvador.