Ready for polling

By MALUM NALU

MORE than 10,800 polling stations for the general election will be available to voters over the two weeks beginning June 24, to be manned by around 4800 teams of officials, says Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

The schedule for the 10,825 polling venues was printed last week by the Government Printer, and is now being distributed to the 22 provinces. Almost one-tenth of the polling stations (1060) are in the nine districts of Morobe.

Manus, with only one district, has only 160 polling stations.

Gamato said the commission would employ around 30,000 temporary workers to assist election officials during the polling and counting stages.

“We will have 10,825 polling places,” he said.

“We’ve also broken the (4882) polling teams into two: Single-day polling and multiple-day polling.

“Single-day polling are for places such as Port Moresby, Lae and other big areas.

“Multiple days are where polling teams walk to first-day polling in one village and then walk to the second and third villages.”

There are 3552 single-day polling teams and 1330 for the multiple-day polling – a total of 4882.

The polling teams are based on the polling schedule.

They will cover 344 local level governments and 6237 wards.

Polling is over a two-week period from June 24 to July 8.

Gamato said materials would be packed as per the requirements of each polling team, or sent to election managers for packing.

The Australian Defence Force and PNG Defence Force are assisting the commission logistically.

The number of polling stations in each province is Chimbu 448, Eastern Highlands 636, Enga 411, Hela 259, Jiwaka 184, Southern Highlands 650, Western Highlands 432, East Sepik 816, Madang 698, Morobe 1060, West Sepik 543, Bougainville 806, East New Britain 536, Manus 160, New Ireland 338, West New Britain 362, Central 615, Gulf 243, Milne Bay 467, National Capital District 360, Northern 300 and Western 501.

The return of writs is scheduled for July 24. The 10th Parliament is expected to sit the following week.

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