PNG Electoral Roll Update Gets Underway

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Electoral Commission seeks $35 million for ‘massive task’

By Malum Nalu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 29, 2016) – The Electoral Commission has started the massive task of updating the electoral roll, using the K10 million [US$3.2 million] allocated in the 2016 budget, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says.

The commission had asked the Government for K112 million [US$35 million] to conduct the exercise.

He said Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari told him that the K10 million was released through the integrated financial management system.

"Our top priorities are the updating of the enrolment of the voters around the country, and the purchase of big-name items (such as ballot boxes, indelible ink and compartment boxes)," Gamato said.

"We have to do that before the end of the year.

The purchase of the big-name items will cost about K15.5 million [US$5 million]."

Gamato said his staff were ready to update the roll.

"We are just waiting for the Government to provide us (additional) funding so that we can update all potential voters," he said. "It’s important, given that we have to go to remote places to enroll everyone.

"The important thing about this exercise is that people are asking about their national identification cards.

"Unless you enrol, you cannot vote, so even if you have an NID card and you don’t enroll, you cannot vote.

"Under the law, you have to enroll, you have to have your name in the electoral system.

"If you don’t have your name in there, you cannot vote.

"I’m encouraging everyone to come and enroll. We want to start the enrolment process on June."

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It is alright with people who are not busy and free each day to come and enrol. It is a bit of a concern for those who are busy at work. With this I would like to suggest if they can use the Online Enrolment processes. If no then I welcome any alternatives from your office otherwise the last resort is to attend were enrolments are held. Just a view to ponder by PNGEC. Thank you very much.

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