5 Aug 2010

Major reform of PNG electoral rolls needed a new study concludes

3:43 pm on 5 August 2010

The Papua New Guinea Government is being called on to fund a permanent Roll Management Unit to help improve the quality of the electoral roll.

A study commissioned by PNG's National Research Institute found that the country's experience to date was there's no credible link between the roll and the votes counted during an election.

The study says the present situation is not sustainable and a new approach, with the support of politicians and the community, is needed.

One of the authors, an adjunct professor at Wellington's Victoria University, Dr Andrew Ladley, says there is a tendency to pour money into the election process close to the poll, and then starve it of funding for the remainder of the term.

"Our view is that the management of this needs a dedicated Roll Unit that can be well staffed and will operate throughout the process, because it is so central to the conduct of elections. Because otherwise the entire balance of the elections gets thrown out and people think that elections are just about counting the number of ballots that have got into a box, no matter how they have got there. And they aren't. The elections are also about trying to make sure only the right people vote."

Victoria University's Andrew Ladley.