Some unfortunate voters in Kambaramba village in Kerem LLG of Angoram District in East Sepik Province were not able to vote in this election. Simply because they had other domestic duties to take care of and, when they had returned, polling for their ward had ended for the one day window.
Spokesperson and intending candidate for Angoram Open, Luimack Pandima Johnson, said that this was the case in Kambaramba village.
“Some people from Nandaten ward in Kambaramba had other domestic duties to attend to during the day and when they returned to the village to vote polling for their ward had ended and they had missed out,” Johnson said.
The Returning Officer for Angoram, Cherobin Viang confirmed that voters from Nandaten were turned away the next day.
Viang said that this was simply because their ward had already voted and ballot papers were put away.
When polling for a ward closes and they open ballot papers for the next ward, voters from the previous ward will not be allowed to vote in the next ward, even if it is in the same electorate.
Viang said that this is because the ballot papers are given according to the Ward Roll and it will only cater for that particular ward. Once they close polling in a ward they cannot reopen the ballot boxes.
This issue in East Sepik Province highlights the importance of polling days. Voters must adhere to their allocated voting day and come to the polls on that day. Because once you miss out it will be another five years before you can vote again.