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Vote counting at future polls in respective booths

The counting of votes in future Sri Lankan elections is set to undergo a major change, with authorities deciding to count the votes at the respective polling booths itself, starting from the upcoming Western Provincial Council polls, slated to be held on April 25.

The Commissioner of Elections at a recent media briefing said that his Department would continue this practice at future elections as well, depending on the success at WPC polls.

Accordingly, the counting of votes is expected to begin at 4.30 p.m immediately after the voting ends at the polling booth, under the supervision of the respective polling station head. The final result of the polling booth is to be forwarded to the respective Returning Officers at the end of the count.

In previous elections in Sri Lanka, the counting of votes only began after transporting the sealed ballot boxes to the main counting centre. As a result and due to some lengthy transportation routes, announcing of the results of certain electorates too got delayed.

According to election authorities the new counting process is to be done in the presence of political party representatives, monitoring groups and nominated election officials.

Deputy Commissioner of Elections W.P.Sumanasiri said that they would soon conduct a training program for all chosen polling booth heads, regarding how to handle the new counting system.

According to analysts the new system is expected to enhance transparency, minimise undue delays in announcing results, and save expenditure also, allegations of attempts at rigging during transportation of ballot boxes too would not arise.

Meanwhile, acknowledging that they were supportive of the move, PAFFREL said that however they had a few things to iron out with election authorities regarding the implementation of the new process.

Deputy Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said that they would meet the Commissioner of Elections shortly in order to clarify certain measures taken during the new counting process.

 

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