17 May 2007

Illiterate PNG voters entitled to polling help

6:45 pm on 17 May 2007

The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, says voters needing help with the ballot papers during the upcoming elections will be able to take a friend or family member into the polling station.

Under the new Limited Preferential Voting system, voters will have to select three preferences from the numbered photographs of candidates on the walls of the polling station.

They will then write the number or the name of that candidate against the ballot's 1/2/3/ options.

There have been concerns that people unable to read or write will not vote but Mr Trawen says they can legitimately seek help.

"This is a very simple way of marking votes and I am sure, and I am confident that the voters out there will come in and place the votes. If they do not know how to read and write they can bring somebody of their own to come in and help them."

The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen.