40. House of Assembly Elections, 1968

Many classes of pupils were sent home for the period it took to conduct the ballot for these important elections. Our villages round Nanu River PTS were in the Dreikikir Electorate. Its Returning Officer was Robin Barclay, kiap at Dreikikir P.P. The winning candidate, I remember, was Kokomo Ulia. The preferred method of conducting the poll was to have the voters come forward one by one in whatever order, identify themselves, and collect their ballot paper. I tried this hopeless idea for about five minutes before adopting the suggested old-fashioned bossy kiap approach, bellowing out, 'Ol I lain!' When I had them in village groups, I called out names from the electoral rolls, duly marked the roll and handed out ballot papers as those named stepped forward. The task of attempting to explain the preferential system and the need to mark more than just your favourite candidate on the ballot paper in order to avoid the casting of informal votes, proved most of the time to be an absolute nightmare.

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