MP: Over 500,000 eligible voters missing from roll


YANGORU-Saussia MP Richard Maru claims that more than 500,000 eligible voters are not on the voter enrolment and common roll due to limited form 11 distributed to each ward.
Maru, who is the People First Party leader, had received reports that 50 people on average from each ward in his district were not registered during the common roll update.
He said the issue of writs for the General Election was about four weeks away and people would be denied voting.
“From complaints I am getting from all the wards in Yangoru-Saussia, the form 11 given out by the PNGEC is insufficient and does not reflect the actual number of eligible voters in each ward,” he said.
Maru said similar issues were experienced in other districts nationwide.
He said the PNGEC decided to give 15 per cent of forms to each ward based on the number of registered voters in 2017 that denied some eligible voters’ registration and was a direct assault on the constitutional rights of citizens and on democracy.
Maru said Yangoru-Saussia was the first district in the country to complete the national identification (NID) roll-out in all 96 wards and knew exactly how many people were 18 years and above but they were not registered on the common roll because of the restricted number of form 11.
“For Yangoru-Saussia, over 50 people on average in every one of the 96 wards have been missed out on being enrolled in the recent common roll update,” he said.
“Based on complains I received from this wards, up to about 5,000 eligible men and women in the district will have their fundamental constitutional rights to political participation denied by the PNGEC.”
Maru said Gabriel Wangisombi, a ward recorder from ward 10, raised the concern when 139 eligible voters were yet to register but the form 11 were running out.
“In my own Pachan village ward one, East Yangoru LLG, 50 people could not be registered because there are no form 11,” he said.
“Imagine the same problem for 89 districts in PNG.
“We extrapolated we could have up to 500,000 eligible voters not voting in the 2022 elections because other districts have expressed similar complains.”
Meanwhile, Maru urged the PNGEC to advise local councillors and ward recorders to update the common roll.