Acting Chief Referendum Officer Desmond Tsianai said postal voting is safe and secure and the BRC will note on the roll that a voter has been issued a postal vote.
Speaking in Buka, Acting Chief Referendum Officer Desmond Tsianai said the BRC is committed to ensuring full access to voting for all eligible voters through the SMS Roll Check and now the Postal Voting services.
Tsianai said Under the Organic Law, postal voting provides the flexibility for Bougainvilleans who may otherwise miss out on being able to vote.
“Postal voting is safe and secure and the BRC will note on the roll that a voter has been issued a postal vote. The voter fills in a declaration which is signed and witnessed. Those voters will not be able to have an ordinary vote issued during the polling.
“The voter places their ballot paper into a secrecy envelope. There is nothing on that envelope to indicate the identity of the voter.”
Any enrolled voter can apply for a postal vote so long as they meet the following criteria: They must be more than 16km away from the nearest polling booth, must be seriously ill/infirm/disabled, about to give birth or caring for a young child and holding religious beliefs that prevent them from attending a polling booth to vote.
Tsianai said the BRC postal and the SMS roll check services are some examples of raising the bar for inclusive electoral processes.
Applications for postal voting can be made by using the BRC application form or in writing. The application form and further information are available now on the BRC website, at BRC regional offices and the PNGEC office in Port Moresby.
Application forms and further information can also be requested via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
After applications have been received, the BRC will make arrangements to deliver the postal voting pack to the voter.
Applications for postal voting can be received up to and including November 22nd.
(Rose Pihei being assisted by a BRC officer to fill in the postal voting application)