Election Chief clarifies voting procedure

Election Chief clarifies voting procedure

8 November 2019 07:10 pm

Voters can vote for a single candidate and, if they wish, they can cast their second and third preferences to two more candidates, National Election Commission (NEC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said, explaining the voting procedure for the November 16 presidential poll.

“NEC advices people to cast their vote by marking number 1 in the box in front of the candidate of their choice and then mark 2 and 3 in the boxes of two other candidates, if they prefer multiple candidates,” he said.

The polls chief said if the voters did not wish to indicate their second and third preferences, they could cast their vote for only one candidate by marking the traditional cross in the box in front of the name of the candidate.

Mr. Deshapriya said that in terms of the election law, the numbering method is preferred, but if a voter chooses only one candidate, the vote is still valid.

However, he warned voters not to use numbers and crosses simultaneously as it could invalidate their votes.

Meanwhile over 300,000 new voters will receive temporary identity cards from the Department for Registration of Persons to cast their votes in the up coming presidential elections.

These temporary identity cards will be issued to over 300,000 voters before the 10th of this month.

Commissioner-General of the Department, Viyani Gunathilaka said  that all persons who have requested an identity card will be issued temporary identity cards which will enable them to cast their vote at the upcoming election.

This temporary identity card that is being printed on a special secure sheet will include all information required to identify an individual along with the signature of the Commissioner-General of the Department.

Further, the department states that the identity cards will be provided to the people through the respective Grama Niladhari officers.

The voters who have not received their polling cards can still cast their votes for their preferred candidate at the forthcoming Presidential Election with appropriate identification documents as per recommendations of the Department of Elections.

Not possessing a polling card is not an obstruction in any way to cast one's vote, Election Department sources said.