1104 Do not confuse ballot papers with candidate posters, say Gamato

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says the people of Papua New Guinea should not be confused with the 2017 election ballot papers with candidate posters by election commentators. Candidate photographs are not placed on the ballot papers and are different from candidate posters.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato clarified that candidate posters will contain candidate photographs and code numbers which will be allocated after the order of draw when nominations close on April 27, 2017.​ 

He was responding to a confusing and misleading news article in the Post-Courier newspaper today (April 11, 2017) by the President of PNG Trade Union Congress John Paska.

“John Paska obviously has not understood the difference between the ballot papers and candidate posters and should not mislead the people of Papua New Guinea.”

“The people of Papua New Guinea voted before in the 2007 and 2012 national elections using the limited preferential voting (LPV) system and know how to vote,” the Electoral Commissioner said.

He explained that the 2017 ballot papers are similar to the 2007 and 2012 generic ballot papers but are color-coded to help voters distinguish between a provincial ballot paper and an open ballot paper.

The Electoral Commissioner said that the 2017 ballot papers are more secure than the 2007 and 2012 generic ballot papers with 15 security features – eight security features hidden inside a hologram on the top of each ballot paper and seven security features hidden on the face of each ballot paper.

Mr. Gamato further explained that ballot papers for the provincial seats are blue while the ballot papers for the open seats are yellow and a voter will be issued with two ballot papers like in the 2007 and 2012 national elections.

“If John Paska participated in the past two elections in 2007 and 2012 then he will know the difference between ballot papers and candidate posters.”

Commissioner Gamato added that candidate posters are produced separately from candidate photographs submitted along with candidate bio-data form (Form 29).

He said that candidate posters are normally displayed at polling stations and inside voting compartments to assist voters to see their preferred candidates and their code numbers to correctly mark their three preferences on the ballot papers by writing the name only, code number only or both.

Regarding the security of ballot papers, Mr. Gamato reasoned that the ballot papers are the democratic rights of voters and must be protected at all costs by the PNG Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commissioner said that the ballot papers are securely locked away in 11 containers at an undisclosed location in Port Moresby after arriving from Indonesia last week.

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




ALPHONSE MUAPI
Media Consultant
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