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EC planning to count votes at electorate levels

Counting of votes at electorate level instead of bringing them to central counting stations in each district and spraying rather than applying the indelible ink onto a voter’s index finger are among plans under consideration to conduct the upcoming parliamentary elections after health authorities give the greenlight to conduct the poll, a senior official said.

The Elections Commission Commissioner General, Saman Sri Ratnayake, told the Sunday Times that instead of having limited counting centres, one of the proposals was to have counting centres at electoral level to reduce the number of persons gathering at one location.

The move is also aimed at cutting down the transport arrangements from respective polling booths.

The proposal is among a series of similar plans to conduct the elections under safety precautions.

The Commission met both on Wednesday and Thursday to make logistical arrangements for the elections with priority being given to health precautions.

“One of the issues discussed was on addressing the question of applying ink on the finger of the voter. This is a requirement in the Parliamentary Elections Act and cannot be ignored,” Mr Ratnayake said.

One of the suggestions which have come up is to spray the ink on the finger, but no final decision had been taken.

Arrangements at the polling centre on how to take the voters into the booth were among the subjects taken up for discussion.

“One of the proposals was that voter identification and applying of ink should take place outside the polling booth and that the voter should go in only to cast the vote,” he said.

The move is aimed at reducing the number of persons coming into the polling booth which is usually a small classroom.

Plans also have been drawn to minimise the number of candidates and party representatives who call over for elections related work in respective district secretary offices and election offices. “We will have separate counters for them to make inquiries and hand over documents outside the premises,” he said.

Author: TELO Admin