44 election managers and assistant managers are in Lae for a week-long workshop as preparations begin for the 2017 elections.
The biggest challenge for most election managers is transport and logistics. The updating of the electoral roll is, in itself, a logistical challenge.
Each region will be expected to have the electoral rolls updated with each form signed by eligible voters months before the 2017 elections.
Chief Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, is in Lae for the week-long workshop. He says while there have been significant budget cuts, work is progressing.
“The government has released K10 million, which will be used for the initial operations,” says Gamato.
“I have made a decision to decentralise data collection,” he added.
For Morobe province, the varied geography and poor access into remote areas will mean costs will be driven up if there are delays due to weather and other factors.
Budget cuts have added to the complications but the commissioner, who is also the former administrator of Morobe, believes the job can be done in three months.
The election’s operation has a separate budget. This will be the biggest cost submission to be presented in the budget session of Parliament in November.
The commissioner isn’t able to say how much the elections will cost just yet until final approval is given.