Written by Staff Writer
31 Oct, 2019 | 9:18 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Casting of postal votes for the 2019 Presidential Election commenced this morning. Allocations have been made for registered postal voters to cast their vote today and tomorrow between 8:30 am and 4:15 pm, at their respective workplaces. The total number of registered postal voters for this year’s election is 659,514.
The National Election Commission stated that all public officials except the police, election offices and district secretariats will have the opportunity to cast their votes today and tomorrow (October 31 and November 01).
Our correspondent said, the casting of postal votes which commenced at 8:30 this morning, concluded at 4:15 pm, adding that it was conducted in a peaceful manner.
Officials attached to Police, Election Offices and Divisional Secretariats will be allowed to cast their postal votes on the 4th and 5th of November.
Those who are unable to cast their votes on the aforementioned days will be given the opportunity to cast their vote on the 7th of November at the respective Divisional Secretariats to which their workplace is attached.
The PAFFREL Organisation said, around 1,000 observers have been assigned to monitor the casting of postal votes. CaFFE(Campaign for Free and Fair Elections) Organisation has assigned 200 observers.
The National Election Monitoring Center said, around 500 mobile observers have been assigned to monitor postal votes.
According to the media spokesperson of Police, a special security plan has been set in place until the casting of postal votes ends. The media spokesperson of Police added, until such time the casting of postal votes ends, campaigning within a vicinity of 500m from state institutions where postal voting is conducted, will be strictly prohibited.
Meanwhile, The National Election Commission convened a media briefing today (October 31).
Mahinda Deshapriya, Chairman of the National Election Commission noted that it was unfortunate to see some take photographs of their postal votes and post them on social media. He went on to note that if they were to find out who the officer in charge of the station he would be charged and imprisoned for at least for 3 years.
The Chairman also displayed the length of the ballot paper at the brief.
Mahinda Deshapriya, Chairman of the National Election Commission:
“Most countries use cardboard boxes. 5 copies are pasted with the signatures of the officers. Changing ballot boxes is a myth. There are rumours that more than a million ballot papers were printed. There is no room for fraud.
Rumours about changing ballot boxes and changing numbers are a myth. We extended the time given to cast the vote. People living in areas like Kurunegala, North, Anuradhapura, Matale, Moneragala, and Ampara where there are wild elephant threats will be given protection by the Wildlife Department and the Police.
The transportation of ballot boxes will be given security. The officers will also be safeguarded.
Journalist: Power in Kurunegala was disconnected when the helicopter Sajith Premadasa was travelling in was about to land.
Chairman responded that he has not received such a complaint regarding something of this nature and if he were to receive a complaint he would commence investigations.
He condemned the act if it was carried out intentionally and stated that no political party should resort to something of this demeaning nature.
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