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Polls Chief sets identity guidelines

The need to ensure proper identity of voters through the possession of a valid identity card which displays his\her photograph has been made compulsory to voters for ballot casting at the forthcoming provincial council elections for Sabaragamuwa and North central, the Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake announced in a special notice yesterday.

According to the Commissioner the following identity documents has been declared as valid. The National ID, valid Passport, valid Driving License, valid Postal ID, Railway season ticket with photo, Pensionerís ID, Bhikku ID and a photo ID issued under any law by a Government authority.

In addition voters who do not possess any of the above IDs or those who are in possession of ID documents that are not valid have been advised to obtain a special temporary Identity Card issued by authorities, valid exclusively for the forthcoming PC Polls.

The special temporary ID is to be issued by the Grama Niladhari of the area for voters whose names have been included in the voter registration.

Eligible voters who wish to obtain such a ID has been advised to meet the Grama Niladhari of the area with two copies of black and white or colour Photographs of the size 1 1\4 X 1 at least one week prior to the elections since applications close one week before the polls.

The temporary ID which would be valid only for the forthcoming PC polls is to be issued free of charge. Authorities added that the temporary ID which was issued for Local Authorities Elections-2006 would not be valid for the upcoming PC polls.

Meanwhile, the largest election monitoring watch dog in the country-PAFFREL welcomed moves by election authorities to fill all lacunae pertaining to the identification process for the upcoming poll since such measures would help effectively minimize malpractices.

The decision by authorities to print the ID number of the voter in the polling card and moves to make the relevant Assistant Elections Commissionerís signature on the temporary ID compulsory has been termed as a timely move to counter a variety of allegations regarding voter impersonation.

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