Electoral Commission set for polling: Gamato

By : The National

THE Electoral Commission is ready for the start of polling on June 24, says Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

It has started distributing election awareness materials to the 22 provinces, with the start of polling only three weeks away.

Gamato said the updated roll had been completed, the polling schedules ready, ballot papers unpacked for distribution to the provinces, the 8000 metal ballot boxes were being shipped and ink and seals were ready.

“In terms of preparation, we are ready for polling,” he told The National.

“Most of the non-sensitive materials have been delivered.

“Containers are going to provinces.

“You can see that we are already in motion to conduct the election.”

Gamato said temporary election workers would be trained to conduct polling and counting.

“By next week, we should train polling officials. Training manuals have been sent to the provinces,” ” he said.

“Election managers and returning officers have been trained, so they will do cascading training – training poll officials and count officials, as well as scrutineers.”

Gamato said the next three weeks would be critical to the success of the election.

He said one of the big task was to get Central Supply and Tenders Board to approve contracts for helicopters.

“One of our big tasks is to get the Central Supply and Tenders Board to approve contracts for helicopters, because we’ll be using helicopters in remote places,” he said.

“The Australian Defence Force will assist us, but they will only be flying materials to the main centres.

Gamato said Defence Force vessels would be used in maritime provinces such as Milne Bay.

Electoral Commission media officer Alphonse Muapi told The National posters being distributed to the provinces carried various messages on the election process.

“We have 14 different messages, one on each poster,” Muapi said.

“The posters will be distributed nationwide. Once they are sent out to provincial capitals, they will be distributed to the districts for display and awareness.”

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