No electronic counting for NCD

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 05th July, 2012

COUNTING for the 2012 general election will be done manually, Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen reaffirmed yesterday.
He was responding to a request by some National Capital District candidates who preferred electronic counting claiming it was more transparent. 
Trawen said the exercise would be costly in the short period of time, poll officials were trained for it and it would be unfair to other provinces that were well into their counting at this stage.   
The 20 candidates met with NCD election manager Cyril Retaw on Sunday and gave their petition to Trawen, demanding an immediate response.
Retaw confirmed yesterday that counting for NCD would be done manually.
 “Trawen maintains that counting will be done manually and not electronically,” he said.
The candidates said with cases of abuse and malpractice during polling there was no guarantee it would go smoothly.
NCD regional candidate Stanley Kaka said on Tuesday the commission should have prepared for electronic counting as it had proved workable in the by-election in Kandep, Kundiawa and the provincial election in the Autonomous Region
of Bougainville. 
Other issues raised in their petition included: 
lElectoral Commission to release the serial number of ballot papers and boxes so that each candidate could tell the scrutineers to check and balance their records;
lno intimidation by police in the counting area on any scrutineer or interfere in the counting process in any manner;
lback-up electricity supply  to be in place, and,
lAll unscrutinised ballot boxes to be excluded and deemed illegal.