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Saturday October 1st, 2022

Sri Lanka electors can vote for one party, three preferences in 2020 general elections: polls chief

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka voters can mark their votes for one party or independent group and up to three preferences for individual candidates, in general elections on August 05 held amid Coronavirus health rules, the chairman of the island’s independent elections commission said.

Mistakes in marking will lead to the ballot being rejected, Mahinda Deshapriya, Chairman of Sri Lanka Election Commission has said.

In the 2015 parliamentary elections between 2 to 9 percent of votes in each district were rejected.

The list in the ballot paper will start with the main parties and end with independent groups. The party name and symbol will be in the paper.

Voters are encouraged to mark a cross to select the party, Deshapriya said.

Then up to three preferences could be market in the list of numbers to select the individual members.

Voters could mark, one, two or three preference, but not four, he said.

In the 2015 parliamentary elections, 56,246 votes (4.46 percent) were rejected in the populous Gamapaha district, 46,036 (4.39 percent) in Kurunegala and 43,382 (3.46 percent) in Colombo.

In the Vanni district 9.43 percent or 17,155 votes were rejected, in Jaffna 7.83 percent or 25,496 votes were rejected, in Nuwara Eliya 7.79 percent or 32,777 and in Matale 7.21 percent or 21,538 votes were rejected.

Some also spoil the votes to block electoral fraud or as a mark of protest.

About 16.2 million persons are eligible to vote in the 2020 general elections which are held under Coronavirus health guidelines.

Voters are encouraged to take their own blue or black ball point pen to the polling booth amid the Coronavirus crisis, but if not they will be provided with one.

Voters have to wear a mask, which they will have to remove to show their identity, Deshapriya said.

Any one of six identity cards including the National ID, Passport, Driving License, an official ID issued to monks as well as election commission approved document provided by the grama seva niladari could be used to prove the identity. (Colombo/Aug04/2020)

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