The voting period was held between Monday 11 May and Monday 25 May. During this time, over 710 polling teams travelled throughout the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and five locations elsewhere in Papua New Guinea to conduct polling.
There are 33 constituencies in Bougainville, and three regions: North, Central and South. Voters were asked to select their preferences to elect a:
- Female candidate for their region
- Former combatant member for their region
- Local member representing their constituency
Types of ballot papers
Four different ballot papers were used during this election, to represent each of the elections listed above:
- Blue: Presidential Seat
- Pink: Regional Women’s Seats
- Yellow: Regional Former Combatant Seats
- Green: Constituency Seats
Completing a ballot paper
In the LPV voting system, a voter should clearly write 1, 2 and 3 preferences on each of the ballot papers:
Write 1 inside the box next to the candidate the voter would prefer to win the seat first.
Write 2 inside the box next to the candidate the voter would prefer to win second.
Write 3 inside the box next to the candidate the voter would prefer to win third.
Apart from these three preferences, the voter is not allowed to make any other marks on the ballot paper. If there are other marks in the ballot paper, the ballot paper may be ‘informal’ which means it is unable to be counted.
Once the ballot papers have been completed, the voter will take them to the correct ballot box. There are two ballot boxes, one for the President ballot papers, and one for the regional and constituency ballot papers. This means voters need to put the blue ballot paper in one ballot box and they need to put the pink, yellow and green ballot papers into another ballot box. This is to ensure the ballot papers go to the correct counting centre after the polling period.
Formal ballot papers
A ballot paper is formal, which means it can be included in the count, when:
- the elector has written down their 1, 2 and 3 preferences on the three candidates he/she supports
- the Presiding Officer has signed his/her name on the back side of the ballot paper. This verifies that the ballot paper is a correct ballot issued by the OBEC, and
- the voter does not write down any other marks in the ballot paper (apart from the three preferences).
Informal ballot papers
A ballot paper is informal, which means it cannot be included in the count, when:
- it is not signed by the Presiding Officer
- it does not have 1, 2 and 3 preferences marked on it (if there are only two candidates, then the voter needs to have 1 and 2 preferences marked on the ballot paper)
- it has any other marks or writing by which the voter could be identified.