Candidate: Destroying ballots is a waste of resources

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By NELSON JOE

THE destruction of 600,000 ballots for new voters was a waste of resources resulting from poor planning, said Wilson Thompson, vice chairman of the Country Party and former president of the National Research Institute.

Mr Thompson, who is among 15 other candidates vying for the Goroka Open seat, said this yesterday after learning of a report that the Election Commission had destroyed ballot papers on Sunday.

According to the report, the ballot papers were ordered early before the new constituencies were accepted by parliament, as recommended by the Electoral Constituencies Commission.

However, Mr Thompson said they should have been aware of this and planned accordingly.

“The Electoral Commission should have known the new electorates and planned properly. This only highlights poor planning and administration. It looks like Australia is paying for it,” he said.

“Nevertheless, it costs money for new ballots.”

Mr Thompson said the Electoral Commission should have planned properly to avoid such a wasteful exercise and save the cost of other important areas of the electoral process.

These include allowances for polling and counting officials, counter-funding of the resolution by 389 provincial candidates to contribute 100K each to the establishment of the security system in the vote counting, adequate funding of security personnel to protect them from undue influence for fair elections, settlement of outstanding debts to service providers during the 2012 and 2017 elections and others.

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