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Multiple voting prohibited

The Elections Department has made arrangements to ensure that multiple registered voters in the Western Province would be permitted to vote only at one of the addresses at which they are registered, Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said yesterday.

The Commissioner said 2007 electoral registers of the Western Province was prepared using the computerised system which did not contain the security feature of the new computer software system.

As such, it was possible for a person to register at more than one address in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara.

Dissanayake in a communique issued yesterday said:-

“Poll Cards in regard to the election to be held on April 25 have been sent to the voters registered in the Electoral Register for the year 2007. The possibility for a person with a National Identity Card to register his name in more than one address in the same district has been prevented by introduction of a new computer software system in preparing the electoral registers commencing for 2008 in districts other than those in Western Province.

Since the 2007 electoral registers of Western Province was prepared using the computerised system which did not contain the security feature of the new computer software system, it was possible for a person to register at more than one address in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara.

The poll cards prepared for this election based the 2007 register were posted to the voters. However, steps will be taken to ensure that multiple-registered voters would be permitted to vote only at one of the addresses at which they are registered.

Almost 80 per cent of the registered voters registered in the 2007 register in Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts are not subject to any changes in their addresses or to a disqualification. However, instead of entering their data in the existing computer data base directly, they were entered in the data base with the new software system when preparing the register for 2008.

In this process, the names of persons who have been multiple-registered in 2008 register were detected. Accordingly it was necessary in terms of Section 12 (7) of the Registration of Electors Act, No. 44 of 1980 to register such persons only in one address.

Those persons who were registered in the 2007 electoral register but had applied to register at more than one address in the 2008 register were written to in terms of the requirement in the Act. This course of action which commenced in January 2008 is in progress.

All the Senior Presiding Officers of polling stations will be provided with all the details of voters who have been registered in more than one address.

A special mark will be made against their names in the electoral register issued to polling stations.

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