Chimbu man pushes for PNG to get electronic voting system

4:47 pm on 18 September 2017

A man who stood in Papua New Guinea's recent election says the country needs to establish an electronic voting system.

Mathias Kin, who stood in Chimbu's regional seat, said that for decades governments have paid lip service to introducing such a system.

He said commitment to this system, and its associated national ID plan, had been lacking at the top political level.

After this year's election threw up a host of problems, including electoral roll and ballot box inconsistencies, Mr Kin said the system needs to change.

Mr Kin, a writer and social worker who is a former public servant with a science degree in metallurgy, was not dwelling on his own result, falling short for the regional seat.

But he said it still required a lot of money and resources to win an election in PNG, suggesting that the big parties had an inordinate influence on voters.

While he doubted the system would change before the next election in 2022, Mr Kin said steps must be taken.

"What the government really needs to do is... and the opposition and people around, must push for an electronic system."

"At least it will do some good - not everything good, because the bribery will still go on, the pig killings will still go on, the money being thrown around in the village will still go on - but at least if the electronic system comes on it will be one person per one vote and I think that's a good idea to go forward to start with," he said.

PNG voters must dip a finger into indelible ink before voting, an effort to ensure they don't vote twice.

PNG voters must dip a finger into indelible ink before voting, an effort to ensure they don't vote twice. Photo: RNZI/ Johnny Blades

According to Mr Kin, the flaws in this year's troubled election were many and favoured the return to power of the leading political players in PNG.

"But in my opinion, if the current government continues or is still in place, we will never have this other system," he said.

"Because they will talk about it on paper, they will talk about it through the parliament sessions, but they will never ever go in that direction. They'll never change the system because they want to maintain power."