Secret feature on forms

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THE Electoral Commission will print about 15 million ballot papers which have “secret”  features for the next year’s national and local level government elections.
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said during a workshop on party branding and campaign strategies in Port Moresby that the ballot papers would have secret features known only to him and the printer.
“We will need 15 million ballot papers because we will have three seats that will be contested – the ward seat, regional seat and the open seat,” he said.
“We might need five million ballot papers for each.
“From our data base, we have 4.8 million registered voters in 2012 national election.
“And the actual number of people who voted was 3.8 million.
“So we are playing safe in this election because there might be an increase in registered voters.
“We have enough ballot boxes but since we will be conducting two elections, we might need some more.”
Gamato said metal ballot boxes would be used in the Highlands and plastic ballot boxes in the coastal areas.
“All the materials for the elections will be bought from local suppliers,” he said. Some not available in PNG will be ordered from overseas,” he said.
Gamato has already appointed and gazetted the election managers, returning officers and assistant returning officers.
“And they will not be changed  unless they are dead or their names misspelt,” he said.
Gamato said in some provinces, people were still arguing over the officers already gazetted.
“I told them to stop arguing and carry on working because we have limited time to prepare before the elections next year,” he said.
Gamato said it was important that a concerted effort by all stakeholders was put into the preparations to ensure the smooth running of the elections.

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