How to make 2012 polls fair and honest

Letters, Normal

The National – Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THIS is directed to the PNG Electoral Commission.
I want to raise two problems and propose solutions.
Problem 1 and solution:
Indelible ink: Is it truly indelible?
From my experience, this ink used to mark the “finger nails or thereabouts” can be removed by detergents readily available in some shops.
What if it was changed to the whole finger being dipped into a better or proven indelible ink?
This ink should be safe health-wise but cannot be deleted for, say, a month and it eventually wears off on its own.
This will prevent people from voting more than once.
Otherwise, people will still be voting crooked leaders into parliament at the cost of development, economic growth and prudent governance.
If we do not address this “indelible ink” issue, I think we are facilitating corruption at the polling booths.
All the indelible inks used in the past did not live up to its name.
This solution is simpler than the solution 2 and it is still not late to implement it.
Problem 2 and solution:
National identification card (ID) system : If the National Census is carried out using this system, people must show their ID cards which are numbered, it will be another quantum leap.
This system is no different to driving licence, bank account, passport, students ID, Work place ID, etc.
PNG has some six million people, which is a manageable figure to introduce this system (although this has to be verified as there are possibilities of ghost names).
Any person posing with more than one identity can be singled out by their photographs, questioned and brought to face justice.
With the advent of technology, people can log online (computers and mobile phones) when they enter their own password and vote online using their ID number and password.
The illiterate population can vote through their trusted literate relatives.
Thanks to mobile phone companies that have impacted PNG greatly, I believe they can help the PNGEC.
This will certainly prevent multiple or duplicated voting and counting errors, saving time and money.
All results can be posted online for the whole nation to see and confirm the counting.
Only the ID numbers (not names) and who they voted will be displayed.
This I believe is possible (as we now have SMS banking).
I fail to understand why this has not be considered for next year’s elections.
PNG needs people who are not afraid to try new methods when they know what they are doing and where they are going.
At the end of the day, all the training, knowledge, wisdom and wealth of experience thrown into planning the elections will be tested on the polling and counting days.
I believe the success of next year’s elections will not be measured by how well the nation has voted and counted but whether it was conducted fairly and honestly.


N Pok
Port Moresby