Rumours of hidden ballot boxes marked ‘ballot papers’ dismissed

Islands

POLICE and election officials have dispelled rumours that seven ballot boxes with marked ballot papers have been hidden away ready for counting.
Manus police commander Chief Inspector David Yapu said the allegation was false and would only create doubts in the minds of the voters as they prepare to go to polls, starting this Saturday.
Yapu said that on June 10 two small Australia Defence Force aircraft arrived at Momote airport and offloaded ballot papers and other election materials to the election manager and officials.
The ballot papers were checked and loaded onto a vehicle and escorted to Lorengau police station by the joint security forces.
Upon arrival they were checked and verified by the election officials and stored away in a container at Lorengau police station.
Yapu said that last Wednesday empty ballot boxes with other election materials arrived in a container by ship at Lorengau wharf and were escorted to the police station.
He said the two containers containing the ballot papers, empty ballot boxes and election
materials were being kept safe at the police station.
Yapu said he had formed an investigation team to deal with all election-related issues and the team would investigate and take action if there was sufficient evidence to warrant it.
He warned people making false allegations or speculations to refrain from misleading the people as they were getting ready to elect their leaders.
He said he wanted the people of Manus to take ownership of the election and ensure free, fair and safe polling in the province.

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