Voter registration and voter list update are to take place annually since 2016. According to Article 50 of the Law on Election of Members of the National Assembly (LEMNA), to be eligible for voting, one must have his name on the voter list, and the criteria for registration are:
- be a citizen of the Kingdom of Cambodia
- age 18 years old or above up to the election date
- be a permanent resident in the district and commune where they are going to vote
- not under prison confinement nor been disqualified from voting
- not mentally disabled.
A national identification card is required to bring along on the day of the registration. However, individuals who are not the permanent residents of the commune that are going to vote are also required to bring their family book.
The National Election Commission of Cambodia has started to use a digital voter registration system since 2016. The electronic registration equipment was donated by the European Union (EU) and comprised of 2,400 HP notebooks, 2,425 computer monitors, and various kinds of electronic equipment. The NEC called and appealed for Cambodian citizens who work or live abroad to register their names for the election in Cambodia as the migrant workers will not be able to vote overseas.
The new registration system is a part of the 2014 election reform deal between the CPP and opposition CNRP. As the 3-month registration period ended in November 2016, 7.8 million out of 9.6 million eligible voters registered for the 2017 elections. Nearly 2 million eligible voters who were unable to register are migrant workers who have to travel far to their home communes, the elderly, prisoners, and those who choose not to vote. Eligible voters who failed to register in 2016 will be unable to vote in the commune elections in 2017 and the 2018 national elections.
In the fourth annual voter registration in 2019, the registration operated for 22 days, with 10,178,807 estimated eligible voters allocated to 23,364 estimated polling stations. The registration operation was held with 1,646 registration teams. However, migrant eligible voters were still not able to register in foreign countries.
Cambodia Voter Registration Ends with 7.8 Million of 9.6 Million Eligible Voters Signed Up, Radio Free Asia, Nov. 30, 2016, http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/cambodia-voter-registration-ends-11302016124340.html.
Khmer Times, Cambodia: New Equipment for Voter Registration, The Voting News, Aug 5, 2016, https://thevotingnews.com/new-equipment-for-voter-registration-khmer-times/.
PDF : Voter List Audit in Cambodia: Final Report – March 2017 (COMFREL: 2017)
PDF : 2016 Voter Registration Monitoring and Observation Report (COMFREL: 2017)