2505 PNGEC obliged by law to conduct postal voting for citizens

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato says the PNG Electoral Commission is obliged by law to conduct postal voting for citizens who will not be available in their respective electorates on polling day to cast their votes. Sections 98-100 of the Organic Law on National Elections caters for seven categories of electors who will not be available on polling day.

Mr. Gamato outlines these seven categories of electors whom postal voting applies to as follows:
 

  • Electors who will not be in the electorate during the polling period
  • Electoral who will not take part in polling on religious grounds (SDA Sabbath on Saturday polls)
  • Women electors approaching maternity or caring for her infant
  • Electors who are seriously sick in the house or hospital
  • Electors traveling away from his/her residence
  • Electors who are within 16 kilometers by the nearest polling place in the electorate where he/she is enrolled
  • Electors who are citizens living abroad (overseas)

He explained that electors who will be voting using postal ballot must first apply by either letter or electronic means to the Returning Officer on the tenth day after the issue of writ. 

“By law, electors can apply for postal vote certificate, ballot paper and candidate poster.” 

“When that is done, a Returning Officer may, together with a postal vote certificate and a ballot paper under section 100 of the Organic Law on National and LLG Elections, forward to an elector who has applied for postal vote certificate and postal vote ballot paper.” 

“A candidate poster will also be included by the Returning Officer to assist the elector who may not be familiar with candidate names and codes.” 

“A postal vote certificate and declaration by an elector is to be made in Form 6. Electors making willful false statements in the declaration carry a liability of two years imprisonment,” Gamato warned. 

The Electoral Commissioner was responding to a number of queries as to whether PNGEC would conduct postal voting citizens living abroad plus citizens living in PNG but will not be at their electorate at the time of polling, especially fly-in and fly-out employees of resource project areas.




ALPHONSE MUAPI
Media Consultant

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