2017 National Elections

​People with disabilities will vote: Gamato

This was reiterated by the Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato.

Their voting will be at the Cheshire Home in Port Moresby, the reason being that the venue has special facilities readily available for PLWDs.

There will be six boxes available at the venue - two for each electorate in NCD.

Gamato said PLWDs also have the constitutional right to express and cast their vote without fear or favour.

He encouraged all PLWDs living in and around the city to make their way to Chesire home to cast their votes.

NCD's one-day polling starts today at 8am.

Hela polling deferred

Provincial Police Commander Michael Welly said although they were ready to commence deployment of polling teams, a few candidates were not happy with some of the individuals selected as presiding officers. 

Candidates claimed that some of the presiding officers were seen publicly campaigning for the candidates they support, therefore compromising their position.

So instead of polling, this morning was spent addressing this issue with the Provincial Election Manager and Police.

PPC Welly said by lunch time, they were able to resolve the issue.

​Central Province: Polling suspended in village

This stemmed from voters being turned away after finding out they were not eligible to vote.

Their frustrations turned to anger and the disgruntled voters entered the polling booth at the Women's Fellowship Hall, forcing Presiding Officer, Veali Veali, to suspend polling immediately.

Veali said there are 1,511 eligible voters in Paramana village but the villagers claimed the figure was wrong; there should be over 2000 eligible voters.

Veali said the Returning Officer will make a decision on the next course of action.

​EHP: Daulo polling deferred

One of the districts currently in this situation is Daulo.

With a voting population of about 48,000, candidates say the updated Electoral Roll does not match the voting population.

Spokesperson Benny Kimisive states: “We cannot cast our vote now as it will be illegal because most of the election materials are not ready.

“Even the polling venues have not been allocated yet,” he said.

The other issue the candidates raised was the gazetted polling areas, where most of the venues have been changed.

​Kavieng polling underway

However, as experienced by other electorates in the country, some of the residents’ names were not on the common roll.

“It is still too early to tell whether most, or just some, of the residents have been excluded on the roll,” Kavieng returning officer, Yuyu Lasbut, told Loop PNG.

She says polling materials were successfully distributed during the weekend, hence the smooth start.

Voting for the province will end on July 3.

​Simbu polling deferred

Polling now has been deferred to Tuesday, 27th June.

Election Manager, Reverend Tom Sine, said the one-day polling in Simbu had to be deferred to sort out candidate grievances over the Electoral Roll.

The Electoral Roll, initially sent with the ballot papers, was questioned by the candidates and scrutineers.

The Electoral Commission headquarters was notified of this issue on Friday.

This morning, Reverend Tom Sine confirmed receiving an updated Electoral Roll from the headquarters.

He said candidates and scrutineers are now happy with it.

Polling starts in Bougainville

The distribution of ballot papers from Arawa police station to the three regions; North, South and Central Bougainville, started on the weekend.

Ballot papers for nearby areas were dispatched this morning.

Security personnel include seven correctional service officers, 64 regular police personnel and assistance from the New Zealand Police.

The 64 regular police personnel have been split into two teams; the polling team and response team.

​Check facts before publishing: Returning officer

Tari-Pori Returning Officer, Jack Walara, made the call after claims of illegal ballot papers being taken to Hela Province were made.

He told Loop PNG that the ballot papers were not illegal but instead, were sent to the wrong port.

"The ballot papers were supposed to be sent to Tari-Pori but instead, went to Koroba-Kopiago district."

He explained that the ballot papers had been destroyed because they might be tampered with.

However, Walara said the Electoral Commission has issued new ballot papers and they are looking forward to polling today.

​Locals demand rescheduling of polling

The candidates raised concern on the issue of Common Roll update, polling venues and number of ballot papers.

Representing the candidates, Benny Kimisive said time is against them to cast their votes and it will be illegal if they go ahead and conduct polling.

"We want polling to be deferred to Wednesday as to go through the quality checks of the common roll and other issues."

​Daulo police on alert

Operations second-in-charge commander, Chief Sergeant Tari Wilsen, in his briefing to his men this morning, told them to be always alert.

He said rumours of illegal activities have been the hot topic and urged his men to be extra careful.

Wilsen also raised concern on funding, which is likely to affect the election operations.

He said his men are conducting the operations within the budget they were given.

Meanwhile, the one day polling for the three highlands provinces begins today. The provinces include Eastern Highlands, Simbu and Hela.