PNG Election Commision Expects Four Million To Vote In Election

30,000 temporary workers to be hired to operate polling stations

By Malum Nalu and James Gumuno

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 10, 2017) – The Electoral Commission is expecting around four million people – of the five million eligible voters – to cast their votes during the general election this year.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said they had printed 10 million ballot papers this year because five million were for the provincial seats and five million for the open seats.

“In our last election (2012), the number of eligible voters was 4.8 million.”

“But only 3.7 million people actually voted,” Gamato said.

He said “to be on the safe side”, they printed more ballot papers “in case there’s an increase after the roll-updating exercise”.

“I’m expecting the number of eligible voters to be 5.1 million to 5.2 million. (But) the actual number of people who will come and vote might be less than that,” he said.

[PIR editor's note: On May 10, 2017 PNG Post-Courier reported that 'The Electoral Commission will be employing 30,000 public servants as temporary election workersto assist in polling and counting. ... “These are short term engagements. Polling is for two weeks and counting will also be for two weeks” Chief Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato said. ... The 30,000 temporary election workers will further complement the 4800 personnel in the polling team, which will be conducting polling in the 10,798 polling stations that will be spread out across the country.']

“We had 3.7 million people voting in 2012. So there might be 4.1 to 4.2 million people this year.

“We will go by the enrolment figures to know exactly how many ballot papers we will release to each electorate.

“If there are extra papers, we will just stamp and cancel them.”

He told The National yesterday that there was little chance of foul play because the ballot papers would be distributed according to the number of people in each electorate – as shown on the final roll.

Meanwhile, Western Highlands election manager Philip Telape said ballot papers would be packed according to the number of eligible voters in each ward and sent out.

Telape said those who damaged their ballot papers would not be issued any replacement. “If there are 1500 voters in a ward, 1500 ballot papers will be issued,” he said.

“Nothing more, nothing less.”

He said if voters destroyed their ballot papers, they would lose the opportunity to vote.

Telape advised voters to write the numbers of their candidates – in order of preference – on the box provided. Or they should write three names on the spaces provided on the ballot papers according to their preference votes.

The National
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