End of Polling at Special Polling Places in Bougainville

The Acting Electoral Commissioner, Mr George Manu, today announced the end of polling at the Special Polling Places for Bougainvilleans who are outside of their constituency but still in Bougainville.

Polling had been scheduled to continue at these locations as part of the 2015 ABG General Election until 4pm Wednesday 20 May 2015.

“For the 2015 ABG General Election, the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner made available a facility to improve access to voting for Bougainvilleans to enhance participation in the election”.

“The Special Polling Places were a new initiative for OBEC and were established under our Elections Act; however, it now appears that this facility has been abused”, Manu added.

“I have received reliable reports, including from Presiding Officers and Returning Officers, of people attending Special Polling Places and attempting to vote more than once and of people attempting to remove the indelible ink”.

Mr Manu further stated, “Wishing to safeguard the integrity of the election, it is with deep regret that I have decided to close the Special Polling Places, effective today. We will be following up on the reports of multiple voting, and I will request the Bougainville Police Service to follow up.”

Throughout the 2015 ABG General Election, three Special Polling Places operated – one in Buka at Bel Isi Park, one in Arawa at the OBEC Office and one in Buin at the OBEC Office. These Special Polling Places provided to people who were out of their constituency the facility to vote in the election.

Polling for the 2015 ABG General Election is nearing completion, with polling expected to be completed across all constituencies today or tomorrow.