Ballot papers to arrive this week: Gamato

Ballot papers for the 2017 National Election will arrive in the country this week, according to Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

The ballot papers are printed in Indonesia.

Gamato, in a brief to Governor-General Bob Dadae, said printing of writs for all the electorates is now underway and will be ready before April 20th, 2017, when the GG officially issues the writs.

He said the Governor General will sign 666 writs, and about 2,000 candidates have expressed interest to contest the national elections.

“Ballot papers will arrive in the country next week. Unlike previous national elections, the ballot papers for this election will have 15 security features and will be colour coded to differentiate between provincial and open electorates. The same will apply for ballot boxes. 

“Local company Barlow Industries Ltd will produce 70,000 ballot boxes and these will be made available to the Electoral Commission by the second week of April,” Gamato said.

The Electoral Commissioner said updating of the Common Roll is progressing well and will be complete by next week.

“The final Roll will be printed at the end of April or early May and will be sent out to all the provinces.”

Gamato informed the Governor-General that the number of election observers for the national elections has increased, with 10 countries expressing interest, including Australia, New Zealand and United States.

Dadae expressed satisfaction at the progress of preparation by the Electoral Commission in the lead up to the upcoming national general elections this year.

“When you prepare in advance you will be able to manage problems that may arise… you’ve done a lot and a lot more people are now enrolled so they can vote in the elections so I’m looking forward to a successful outcome of the elections.

"It comes down to the efforts and creativity of the Electoral Commission for the success of this election and I wish you all the best,” the Governor-General said.

(Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato)

Charles Yapumi