Update of electoral roll to start

The National,Friday June 17th, 2016

THE Electoral Commission will start updating the national electoral roll by the end of this month, says Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.
This follows the announcement by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last week about the release of K10 million through the Central Agencies Coordinating Committee for this purpose.
Gamato said the commission had requested K192 million for the electoral roll update exercise throughout the country.
Meanwhile, Gamato said the total number of persons enlisted on the national electoral roll and 2013 local level government elections was 4.7 million – against a population of 7.1 million as per the 2011 national census figures.
He said the 2007 roll contained a total of 3.9 million eligible voters.
“The enrolment culture in PNG of getting as many names on the roll as possible is difficult to counter, as many people are quite willing to sign false declarations, thus making it difficult to keep control of enrolment numbers,” Gamato said.
“However, with my decision to decentralise the roll update exercise on the provinces, districts and wards, the commission can counter some of these problems faced in the past and come up with a credible roll for the 2017 elections.”
Gamato explained that the first phase of the roll update exercise in the provinces – roll cleansing – had been completed.
“Roll cleansing involved the removal of ghost names, duplicates and multiple entries, deceased plus underage voters,” he said.
“Possible removals were done as per judgements by the election managers, who are the provincial returning officers during roll cleansing.”