The National, Wednesday July 4th, 2012
AN election official and three people have been charged with tampering with ballot boxes and papers in the Dei electorate, Western Highlands.
A security forces spokesman said the alleged offences took place at a coffee plantation near Muglamp station yesterday when voting in the province was extended for a day.
It is alleged that the official and his accomplices carried six ballot boxes – numbered as 103, 060, 061, 062, 072 and 073 – into a coffee estate and started filling them up with illegally marked ballot papers.
Police caught them red-handed.
The four, alleged to have acted for a particular candidate, are currently at the Mt Hagen police lock-up.
Ballots in the six boxes will be disputed by rival candidates, he said.
According to the spokesman, the alleged tampering of ballot papers was among a string of election-related incidents that have marred voting in Dei.
There were also violent clashes among supporters of different candidates but the security forces were doing an excellent job in containing violence in that electorate, he said.