The two-week voting period got underway over the weekend in the volatile highlands region but there were delays in setting up polling booths.
Electoral observers say ballot boxes in at least three locations in Hela province have been destroyed.
In at least two locations, polling boxes were hijacked by supporters of particular candidates and held for several hours, before being returned stuffed with completed ballot papers.
Observers also say they have seen children casting votes and that the use of indelible ink to mark voters has been patchy at best.
Andrew Alphonse, a local journalist from Tari, in Hela province, says it is a joke.
"People could not vote and then there are other supporters coming in for other candidates and then they are just causing the problem, they are trying to fight," he told AM.
"I've been here, I've seen elections here. The election this year is not very good, it has been not planned well."
The electoral commission says it is the most prepared it has ever been and there is a massive police and military presence to provide security.
Wamu Walu, a returning officer in one of the electorates where some of the ballot boxes were destroyed or hijacked, says things are going fine.
"The current progress of the elections is going well. We have just encountered minor problems on the ground," he said.
But William Bando, the province's administrator, disagrees.
"In a nutshell, I think we have not been prepared really well for this election," he said.
"The ballot papers arrived late and we had some issues with the area returning officers. I think the electoral commission shoulder some blame for whatever the result that comes out."
It is not just cases of fraud that are emerging, but also violence.
There is an unconfirmed report that a man was killed in Kelabo during a fight that erupted when a candidate's supporters tried to take control of the polling.
And in Kereneba, several houses were burnt down after election fighting.
On Saturday, shots were fired by security officials as tensions boiled over at polling booths in Tari.
The violence could be a sign of things to come with polling now due to move elsewhere in the highlands.
In the past, most election violence has occurred during the counting phase and when the results are announced.