0704 Preliminary Electoral Roll for 2017 completed

The preliminary electoral roll for the 2017 National Election has been completed following the completion of data entry in all the 22 provinces last week. Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said that he is quite pleased with the tremendous effort put in by temporary electoral workers in updating the roll.

Mr. Gamato said the preliminary roll will be used for nominations when the 2017 election writs are open on April 20.
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“What this means is that the process of updating the 2017 Roll is still continuing until all verification is completed right across the country,” he said.

The Electoral Commissioner said that once verification is completed, preliminary rolls for all the 22 provinces will be submitted to the PNGEC headquarters in Port Moresby to be finalized, printed and ready for polling on June 24.

Mr. Gamato explained that at the moment the preliminary roll is going through the verification and objection process right across the country.

“People are bit confused about what’s happening. We are only updating the 2012 roll so if a voter has voted in the 2012 election, his or her name is still on the roll.”

The roll update exercise started towards the end of July 2016 as funding was not made available quickly by the National Government to PNGEC for the exercise to commence earlier.

“Had we started earlier, we would have completed the roll update exercise by December 2016 or by January and February this year (2017).”

“Nevertheless, we have progressed and data entry activities in all the 22 provinces have been completed.”

“I hope that by the middle of May we (PNGEC) should finalize and print the final roll for the 2017 election.”

In 2012 a total of 4.8 million people were registered as eligible voters on the roll but only 3.7 million voters turned up to actually cast their votes.

In 2017 PNGEC is projecting 5.6 million eligible voters to be registered on the 2017 Electoral Roll and is estimating that only 4.5 million voters would actually cast their votes.

On the issue of shortage of Claim for Enrolment Forms (Form 11) throughout the country, Commissioner Gamato explained that PNGEC had issued a total of 750,000 enrolment forms at the commencement of voter registration.

He pointed out that PNGEC had released additional 100,000 enrolment forms upon requests from the provinces thus bring the total number of enrolment forms issued to 850,000.

“There are requests coming from Election Managers in the provinces and it would seem unrealistic as they are requesting for 200-300 thousand additional enrolment forms.”

“This may reach one million and over and may contribute to a highly inflated 2017 roll as the number of eligible voters on the roll may equal or exceed the PNG population figure which is 7.5 million as per the 2011 census figures.”

Meanwhile, ballot papers for 2017 National Election have arrived in PNG on Tuesday (April 4, 2017) this and were cleared by Customs on Wednesday (April 5, 2017).

Mr. Gamato said that yesterday (April 6, 2017) containers of ballot papers were taken to a highly secured location in Port Moresby where they are being heavily guarded by a squad comprising police and military personnel.

He said that in the next one and a half months the ballot papers will be unpacked and repacked according to enrolment figures and dispatched to each province two weeks prior to commencement of polling on June 24.




ALPHONSE MUAPI
Media Consultant

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