The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) has made special arrangements for enrolment this weekend in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
From tomorrow (Friday) until Sunday, the Commission will have special enrolment stations in the three regional centres: Buka, Arawa and Buin town, and has directed village Ward Recorders to locate themselves in one central place in each Ward.
Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio said the Commission has heard people’s concerns regarding late enrolments, especially those working in town.
“We understand everyone’s desire to take part in the referendum and we’ve been overwhelmed by enrolments so far – so thank you to everyone involved,” Claudio said.
“To all those who, because of work commitments or otherwise, have not seen their urban Ward Recorder, we’ve set up special centres at the three BRC regional offices for people to visit, and if their name is not already on the draft referendum roll, enrol as a new voter in that constituency.”
“We have also directed village Ward Recorders to set up in one central place to make them easy to find.”
“This is the final week of Phase two enrolment in Bougainville. We cannot change it, there is no time. However, there will be a third and final phase, the display in Wards of the draft referendum roll – so people can check and add any last names,” Claudio assured.
The Commission is taking registration very seriously as the foundation of a credible referendum. The three-step enrolment used is a much more extensive, thorough process than happens for normal elections.
“We assure people that the Commission is working tirelessly. We have been given an historic task and a tight schedule to deliver a free and fair referendum – one that Bougainville can be proud of and one that has international credibility.”
“We can also assure those who fear normal election rolls, where they turn up on polling day to find their name is not on the roll on election day, is something we aim to avoid. We understand the process is new and we have limited time, but we believe the referendum laws allow us to avoid old problems of people not on the roll in their constituency – but we need your support.”
“For this weekend, the message is clear, people must seek out their village Ward Recorder, or if they live in an urban constituency, go to the regional centre, these are the old OBEC offices or next to them in Buka, Arawa and Buin.”
“This referendum is a first for PNG, and so we need the support of all people and leaders to make it happen. People must not sit back in their homes. They must get out this weekend, talk to their Ward Recorder and enrol if they are a new voter in their constituency.”
- Buka Urban – BRC Northern Regional Office, Matanhei building, backstreet Buka town
- Arawa Urban – BRC Central Regional Office, Arawa town
- Buin Urban – BRC Southern Regional Office long Buin town
The BRC registration process has followed three phases:
1. Ward Recorders compared 2015 electoral roll to Ward Register, removing names of deceased or those no longer living there
2. Ward Recorders visit house to house to enrol new voters not previously on the roll in that constituency
3. Public display of draft referendum roll in every Ward. People have last chance to check their name, correct misspellings and add their name if it’s still not on the roll. This will happen in August.