ballot papers

Distribution of Ballot Papers Commence

Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai was on site at the Jacksons Airport in Port Moresby to witness the loading of the ballot papers onto the Australian Defence Force’s C27 Spartan aircraft for delivery to Western Province.

Over the course of the week commencing on Monday June 20, twelve million ballot papers will be distributed to all provinces in PNG, including all other remaining election materials.

3000 extra ballot papers burnt

Provincial logistics manager for 2017 Elections, Tom Kiap, clarified that the ballot papers were extras for Mul-Baiyer, Dei Open, Hagen and Tambul-Nebilyer electorates.

Kiap said after the distribution of ballot boxes during polling, the remaining were brought back and stored in a container.

He said he didn’t want to burn the ballot papers in an isolated manner but in the presence of officials.

He added that most of the ballot boxes brought back were those that were tampered with by the voters during polling.

Election manager: Scrutineers must not control counting

Jimmy made this call following the issue with scrutineers last night, which delayed counting for four hours.

Scrutineers raised issues regarding the presiding officer not present at the counting venue.

Jimmy told Loop PNG that there were also other minor unnecessary issues raised by scrutineers during the counting process that wasted counting time.

He explained that by law, scrutineers are not allowed to touch ballot papers. By law, scrutineers who try to disturb the counting process can be removed from the venue.

​Ballot papers arrive

Accompanied by heavy police presence, the convoy entered the venue, closely watched by a large crowd that has gathered there.

NCD Metropolitan Superintendent Ben Turi has also arrived at the venue.

Venue security says once official notice is received from the Electoral Commission, polling officials, scrutineers and media will be allowed in.

Another convoy, this time transporting election manager Alvin Jimmy, and Electoral Commission staff, arrived at the venue minutes ago.

Discussions are currently underway to begin pre-counting.

NCD police advise on change of venue

The NCD Election manager, Alvin Jimmy explains that the police advised him that the Park was not a viable option.

Jimmy told Loop PNG that the Park was not secure for the pre-counting and so they contacted management of the Rita Flyn courts who agreed to have the process held there.

One of the activities to take place will be the replacing of used ballot papers from the deferred polling held on Tuesday.

The Rita Flynn Courts will be the central coordinating office for the NCD Election until after the Elections.

​No extra ballots floating around

He said if such allegations are made then the commission must be notified to verify them.

Gamato said this in response to rumours, which surfaced at the beginning of polling, that extra ballot papers were in circulation.

“As far as I’m concerned, all ballot papers are intact, we only release them for each electorate and they go under police scrutiny and custody until they are released to be used in the polling places,” he said.

Officials urged to be wary of fake ballot papers

Enga regional candidate Robert Pati has called on electoral officials and security personnel deployed to conduct elections in the Highlands region to be on alert.

Pati said this following rumours of ballot papers floating around with some marked as legal and ready to be counted in favour of certain candidates.

Pati said to elect good leaders, the elections must be transparent and violence free.

He highlighted that voters must exercise their democratic rights without ballot papers being hijacked by desperate candidates.

New security measures for ballot papers in Simbu

Provincial Election steering Committee chairman, Joe Tunda Nao, says the committee came up with the stamp for security measures.

Nao explained that the use of this stamp consumed a lot of time which resulted in the polling being deferred from yesterday to today.

“We have to do quality checks on all the ballot papers and stamp them before sending them to the polling venues.

“The same stamped ballot paper must be returned and not others apart from that.”

He added that the teams are ready to be dispatched to remote areas in the province.

Police: Ballot papers burnt to prevent tampering

These boxes belonged to the Awi-Pori LLG, in the Koroba-Lake Kopiago District, and another LLG from Tari-Pori District.

Provincial Police Commander Michael Welly told TVWan news that the ballot papers for the LLG in Tari-Pori were mistakenly placed in the ballot boxes belonging to Awi-Pori LLG.

PPC Welly says this led to the boxes being destroyed in Tari town to avoid any tampering.

Gamato dispels rumours on extra ballot papers

This was the clarification from the Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, this morning.

Dispelling rumours on social media, Gamato said the extra papers are safe and secure.

Gamato assures the people of PNG that the ballot papers and boxes have not been tampered with, giving assurance that special joint forces in each of the provinces have been posted to guard the sensitive items up until polling day.

Meanwhile, he adds that the common rolls have all been updated, while most of the sensitive polling materials have been sent to all provinces already.