The Acting Electoral Commissioner, Mr George Manu, invites domestic and international observers and scrutineers to observe the sorting of Special Voting Services (SVS) Declaration Envelopes commencing tomorrow, Saturday 23 May 2015.
“For the 2015 ABG General Elections the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner implemented out-of-constituency voting for Bougainvilleans Inside Bougainville.”
“We also increased the opportunity for Bougainvilleans Outside Bougainville on mainland PNG to participate in the election by providing voting services in Port Moresby, Lae, Goroka, Madang and Rabaul”, Manu added.
During SVS polling, voters placed their ballot papers inside an envelope that was sealed and a declaration form was attached to the envelope. The declaration form contains, among other information, the constituency where the ballots belong and where they are to be counted.
In preparation for the Scrutiny that is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 26 May,OBEC will start the sorting of SVS envelopes at 10:00am (Bougainville time) on Saturday 23 May.
During SVS Sorting, SVS ballot boxes will be opened, envelopes will be extracted and sorted by region and constituency. Once sorted, SVS envelopes will be placed inside boxes that will be sealed and transported under police escort to their home regions before the start of the Scrutiny. No ballot papers will be extracted, examined or counted during the SVS Sorting process.
The SVS Sorting process for Bougainvilleans Outside Bougainville will take place in Buka, at the United Church Hall.
The SVS Sorting process for Bougainvilleans Inside Bougainville will take place in Buka (United Church Hall), Arawa (OBEC Regional Office) and Buin (Tuiruma Festival Dais).
Mr Manu said “As part of our commitment to full transparency, I invite scrutineers and international and domestic observers to witness the process from beginning to end”.
One scrutineer per candidate is permitted to observe the SVS Sorting process at any one time.