By ELIZABETH VUVU
To ensure the names of all eligible voters are on the electoral roll in future elections, the Electoral Commission will decentralise the updating process to the new registrars in the provinces.
It will appoint the 22 provincial election managers as registrars of election, according to Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.
With the assistance of ward councillors, the registrars will base their work on the “village book” which is accepted as an accurate record of people living in each ward.
Gamato, pictured, said during a visit to Kokopo yesterday he would stand by the promise he made when he took office in 2015 to decentralise the updating of the roll to the provinces.
“Working towards the 2022 national election, responsibility will be delegated to provinces,” he said.
“Provinces will own the roll and election managers will oversee the roll and work with the provincial governments.”
Gamato said the work of roll updating would be “all-year round”.
The registrars of election will oversee the work supported by the provincial and local level governments.
“The work of updating the roll must be decentralised to provinces so they take ownership together with local government councils,” he said. “An important database we have in the wards are called village books. They can be used with the offices of national census and provincial affairs because the village book is their project.
“We can strengthen the database and use the village book as the base book in each ward and LLG to strengthen the roll.
“My responsibility come election time is to sign it off so that it becomes the final roll.” Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said last week the commission would investigate why so many people could not cast their votes because their names were missing on the roll.
He said the district and provincial officers had sent all the data needed to Port Moresby for the updating process.
By ELIZABETH VUVU