Missing names prevent disabled people from voting


DISCREPANCIES in the electoral roll has not only affected many eligible voters but  people living with disabilities (PLWD), says National Board for Disabled Persons interim chairman Ben Theodore.
Speaking on an election panel on NBC Radio East New Britain yesterday, he said the majority of the one million eligible PLWDs voters in the country did not cast their votes because their names were not on the roll.
Theodore said that was despite the National Government emphasising the need to ensure that PLWDs were included and given equal opportunities to vote.
“This did not take place and was evident in many polling booths in the country,” he said.
He said many PLWDs registered their names on the preliminary roll for updating on the 2017 electoral roll only to discover that their names were missing.
He stressed that PLWDs should be given equal rights to participate in national events such as the general election and should be allowed to exercise their rights as all were citizens of Papua New Guinea.
Theodore said he would continue to work  with the Government through the Department of Community Development to ensure that PLWDs were included in major government-sanctioned exercises.
Theodore said the lessons learnt from the 2017 elections should be taken into account by all stakeholders and recommendations for improvements be made in preparation for the 2022 elections.

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