February 14, 2017

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BETTER BALLOTS — Government factories to print 125 million

Pictured left is Managing Director of the Printing and Publishing Enterprise U Aung Myo Myint with a 2010 ballot; on the right is PPE Director U Zaw Zaw Tun with the ballot paper to be used in the 2015 elections.
Pictured left is Managing Director of the Printing and Publishing Enterprise U Aung Myo Myint with a 2010 ballot; on the right is PPE Director U Zaw Zaw Tun with the ballot paper to be used in the 2015 elections.

The Union Election Commission has ordered more than 125 million ballots from the state-run Printing and Publishing Enterprise (PPE) for the upcoming general election, said PPE managing-director U Aung Myo Myint.
At a press conference in Yangon on Thursday, the managing director said the PPE is currently printing 125,550,000 ballots at government-owned factories in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw and aims to complete the order by 21 October. The ballots are costlier and of higher quality than those used in the 2010 election, U Aung Myo Myint said. The 2015 ballots are printed on yellow paper imported from Indonesia and feature a watermark of the UEC’s logo to prevent counterfeits.
The PPE will deliver the ballots to the UEC by 25 October, said U Aung Myo Myint.
Among the ballots to be printed, 40.4 million are for Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) seats and 38.35 million are for the Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House). Another 39.63 million are for region and state parliaments, including the seats reserved for ethnic minorities.
The PPE has already printed 10 million envelopes for advance votes, of which 9.3 million will be used for the Pyithu Hluttaw, Amyotha Hluttaw and state and region parliaments. The remaining 700,000 will be used to elect ethnic minority representatives.
The PPE will be able to print ballots for Myanmar citizens residing overseas within 14 days of receiving an order from the UEC, the managing director said.
During the press conference, UEC official U Win Oo Khaing urged voters to check their names and personal details on their local voter lists, which will be displayed at township and ward offices until 27 September.
He also said the UEC has faced some difficulties computerising the voter lists, and he pledged to correct any errors identified by eligible voters.
During the sixth meeting between the UEC and political parties in Yangon in early September, UEC chairman U Tin Aye said that people without national ID cards can still cast their ballots on 8 November if they can provide other forms of identification that prove their citizenship, such as a driving licences or student ID cards.
Candidates from 92 parties and 301 independent candidates will compete in the national election, which will take place on 8 November.

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