The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission launched the start of its voter enrolment program for 2022 national election and the introduction of biometric enrolment at its headquarters in Port Moresby on Thursday, 8 July. The event was organized to announce the commencement of the voter enrolment program in the National Capital District (NCD) and Central Province, which will include development of an electoral roll with biometrics.
To improve the quality and integrity of the electoral roll, the PNGEC will introduce biometric voter enrolment, initially in NCD and Central Province. Capturing biometrics will strengthen integrity by having an electoral roll built on the unique and verifiable identity of eligible voters.
The PNGEC will begin with new enrolment for all wards in NCD and Central province to produce a biometric electoral roll. This will ultimately require all voters to enroll through biometric registration. When eligible voters in NCD and Central province contact and meet with enrolment agents, special equipment will be used to capture biometric data. In NCD, fingerprints and photographs will be captured, while in Central province only photographs will be taken. The two approaches are being implemented due to limits on availability of the biometric equipment needed to capture fingerprints and the resources needed to expand the program. This exercise will allow the PNGEC to assess the needs for future expansion of the biometric voter enrolment project.
“The introduction of biometric voter enrolment in NCD and Central Province will mark the first steps on our journey to strengthen integrity by having a biometric electoral roll built on the unique and verifiable identity of all eligible voters in Papua New Guinea,” said Acting Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai. “While introducing biometrics is complex and involves high costs, the benefits are significant and provide more safeguards for our elections”, Sinai said.
Acting Electoral Commissioner Sinai also called upon the relevant authorities “to provide the necessary funding and resources to enable the enrolment exercise to move forward on schedule”. The PNGEC will also seek the support and assistance from the Inter-Departmental Election Committee (IDEC) and Provincial Election Steering Committees (PESCs) to conduct enrolment and the 2022 national election.
All eligible voters are reminded to contact the PNGEC Enrolment Agent in their ward during the voter enrolment process. It is the responsibility of all eligible voters to ensure they are included on the electoral roll for their current ward of residence. Civil registration does not entitle a person to vote. Contact the PNGEC Enrolment Agent in your ward to ensure your opportunity to vote in the 2022 National Election.