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SMS service to check when and where to vote starts tomorrow

The Bougainville Referendum Commission has announced that its SMS roll check service will be available again to use starting Wednesday 13 November.

The SMS roll check service will allow people to check where they are enrolled and when polling will be happening near them.

Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio said polling would be available between one and five days in most locations, so people needed to check the polling schedule.

“We have 246 polling teams servicing 829 locations – so polling will not be open for the full two weeks in every location, and will not be starting on 23 November in most locations. People need to check now where and when to vote so they don't miss out,” Mauricio Claudio said.

“While polling will begin in large urban centres and remote locations on Saturday 23 November, most Wards will have their polling teams visit for between Monday 25 November to Friday 29 November.”

Communications in Bougainville is highly challenging and with the successful rollout of the SMS roll check service during phase three of the enrolment, the BRC is now using this service again to ensure all eligible voters know when and where they will be voting.

People also check with their Assistant Returning Officer or one of the 800 Ward awareness officers who are now moving into the field with voter information. This service is also available for those living outside of Bougainville to use.

“The Commission is committed to an inclusive and accessible process – that is our role in delivering a ‘free’ and fair process.”

To use the SMS Roll Check Service, people should text (+675) 7933 6628 or 7149 3920 with all the following information:

  • First name and surname
  • Constituency and ward in which they reside or claim clan lineage to
  • Date of birth, or at least year of birth

If your name is on the roll, you will receive the text message:

A record with those details has been found on the referendum roll. Polling in [voter’s ward] will be available at [polling location(s) for that ward / location] on [date]. If you will be outside of your constituency during the polling period, you can vote at one of the BRC’s regional offices in Arawa, Buin or Buka, or Port Moresby PNG Electoral Commission.

If they are not found, the Roll Lookup staff will reply with the following text:

No record with those details was found. Please check the details you sent were correct. If you are not on the referendum roll you cannot vote in the referendum. By law, the roll is now closed to new enrolments.

Hours of Operation: 0900 to 1700 (BST) every day until 7 December, including weekends.

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