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New ballot, ballot box design to minimize tampering

By Junior Ukaha

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 2, 2012) – The 2012 general election will see some changes in the way the election is conducted, Deputy Electoral Commissioner (Operations) John Kalamoro says.

Speaking at the closing of a two-day electoral commission-police workshop last Friday in Port Moresby, Kalamoro said one change was that ballot papers would be printed with serial numbers on them.

He said this would minimise problems such as double-voting, misplacing and duplicating of ballot papers as experienced in the past.

"Each ballot paper will have a serial number. And you cannot use it elsewhere," he said.

"The serial number ensures that we can trace the ballot papers before, during and after polling."

Kalamoro said should there be a dispute, the ballot papers could be used as evidence in court because they were numbered and recorded.

He said another change would be the use of a new transparent and light-weight ballot box to replace the old metal boxes.

Commission director of election operations John Ellee said the new ballot boxes would cut down many of the problems experienced in the past.

The new ballot box, a sample of which was shown to provincial electoral managers and police commanders who attended the workshop, is about 1m by 50cm, has a crystal body, a lock-lid, five seal areas and can hold over 5,000 ballot papers.

He said around K12 million to K13 million would be used to ship in 30,000 boxes from the manufacturer in China.

The commission added that parts of the Highlands such as Eastern Highlands and Chimbu would vote using the Family Order Listing.

It was also said during the workshop that there would be separate polling booths for women and disabled people at each polling station given the success of the idea in the Kundiawa-Gembogl by-election in Chimbu.

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