Poll manager: Names of school kids on roll a concern

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 01st Febuary 2012

DISCREPANCIES in the electoral roll for the six districts in Madang will be a setback but time will be allowed to have them rectified.
Election manageress Emily Siamoli says an objection period will be allowed for anomalies to be corrected. This includes the names of school-aged children being registered as eligible voters.
It is a “major sticking point” uncovered during checks on the electoral roll last week.
“Intending candidates and their enrolment agents are listing under-age children on the common rolls.
“We had to work our guts out during the festive season to sort various pending issues and this behaviour is not helping at all,” Siamoli said.
Awareness in the districts are being conducted by the returning officers with the engagement of non-governmental organisations, theatre groups and others.
Siamoli says roll discrepancies will be sorted out before a preliminary roll is finalised.
It will then be distributed among the districts for cross-checking before it is finalised.
She is also concerned about the availability of helicopters during the election operation.
“Most of the choppers have been contracted out to the giant mining companies,’’ she said.
Another setback will be the lack of electronic counting system and equipment.
Meanwhile, the Madang electoral office has reduced its proposed K9 million budget.