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Last chance to enroll for Bougainville Referendum

The public display of the preliminary referendum roll has begun in Bougainville on Friday 6 September, and voters are urged to check their names during this display period.

The Bougainville Referendum Commission in a statement last week said that ward recorders will be displaying the roll for inspection, correction and objections until 26 September.

For locations outside of the autonomous region, the roll will be on public display from 11 to 20 September at the PNG Electoral Commission provincial offices. The roll will also be displayed for a few days each in the four special locations in PNG and overseas.

Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio said the Commission once again called on Bougainvilleans to take full ownership of the process.

“Phases 1 and 2 showed historic levels of engagement from Bougainvilleans. Thousands of people have got themselves enrolled, transferred or helped us remove the names of the deceased,” Mr Claudio said.

“Once more, we are calling upon people to support us through this final quality checking step,” Mr Claudio said.

“If you are eligible and want to vote in the November referendum, now is the time to check the roll, see your Ward Recorder or BRC official, and help us create a credible referendum roll – one that all can trust,” Mr Claudio said.

The BRC also explained that under the Organic Law, a K4 refundable fee is required to lodge an objection against a person’s name on the preliminary roll and that the purpose of the fee is to prevent non-genuine challenge on names.

All eligible voters in Bougainville and outside are urged to check their details and ensure that their name is registered at the location/ward where they intend to vote at.

“Anyone on the final Referendum Roll, will be allowed to vote, but to make sure your name appears at the polling centre you intend to vote at, now is the time to check and transfer,” Mr Claudio said.

“One of the key reasons the two governments provided a six-week extension was to allow for this three-week display in Bougainville, and shorter periods outside the region,” Mr Claudio said.

The Chief Referendum Officer said 27 September, the issue of Writs, marks the closure of the roll to new voters and any changes.

The Preliminary Referendum Roll numbers are as follows:

Autonomous Region of Bougainville                      190,254
Outside Bougainville in PNG                                      11,505
Overseas (Australia and Solomon Islands)            269

Dates for the public display are as follows:

Autonomous Region of Bougainville: 6-26 September in all Wards and Regional Centres
Elsewhere in Papua New Guinea: 11-20 September in all provincial PNG electoral Commission offices.

Public display will also be made available at Lihir, Ok Tedi and Pogera mines, and Ramu Plantation for specific durations during this period.

Australia: Cairns 16-17 September, Brisbane 19-20 September at PNG consular offices
Solomon Islands: Gizo 16-17 September (location TBC), Honiara 19-20 September (PNG High Commission)


For more information, visit the BRC website 

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