The National, Monday July 9th, 2012
THE general election has thrown up a lot of irregularities and the Electoral Commission must look for ways to improve the voting system for 2017.
I was on the Talk Back Show and I felt obliged as a citizen to air my concerns and suggested some ways to improve elections.
My village is along the border of Yangoru-Saussia and Maprik. As such, the people voted in both electorates.
This is wrong under the electoral laws.
However, my people’s argument is that they receive services from both electorates.
Many underaged voters also somehow managed to vote.
The scrutineers and the electoral officials, including the ward councillors, just let that happen.
I also observed “voting in absence” of people whose names were on the common roll but were absent.
Again, nothing seemed to have been done to stop it.
Finally, names of people who have died are still on the common roll and ballots were cast in their name.
I have some suggestions to improve the situation.
Every citizen of voting age must make it their business to have their names on the common roll for the next election due in 2017.
People should not ignore the awareness programmes carried out by the Electoral Commission or the Census Office.
I enrolled in March, found my name on the common roll at the polling station and voted. This is despite the fact that I have been away from home for many years.
I made it my business to ensure that I could vote and so should everyone else.
The Electoral Commission should adopt and apply the use of identity cards for 2017.
In Papua New Guinea, the use of an ID card is becoming a common practice and the people are fully aware of this in places such as the banks, when travelling, postal services, educational institutions, etc.
This should alleviate the irregularities mentioned above.