Chairman of Elections Commission urges public to vote early

Chairman of Elections Commission urges public to vote early

Chairman of Elections Commission urges public to vote early

Written by Staff Writer

15 Nov, 2019 | 8:52 pm

Colombo (News 1st): In less than 12 hours, Sri Lankans across the island will head to the polls to elect the 7th executive president of Sri Lanka. In the past years, though voting hours ended at 4:00 pm, this year, polling hours were extended by one hour and will end by 5:00 pm.

Chairman of the National Election Commission responded to several questions by journalists regarding the election.

Journalist: It’s now in the hands of the voter. How should they behave on Saturday?

Mahinda Deshapriya: One must understand and remember that the other person has the same right as you do. Therefore, do no try to influence or pressurize anyone. We witnessed how an individual burnt a family member’s voting card. Do not engage in such activities. I have the same right as you do. If all voters remember this, we can hold a free and fair election on Saturday.

Journalist: Voting hours have been extended for the first time.

Mahinda Deshapriya: We urge everyone to vote early. Do not wait till 5:00 pm. Go to the polling station at least by 2:30 in the afternoon.

Journalist: When will results start coming in?

Mahinda Deshapriya: The results of postal votes can be announced before midnight. Most probably results of the Ratnapura district. The first result could be announced at around 2:00 am. By 8:00 the morning, we hope to have announced the results of nearly half of the electorates. If we do proceed to a preferential vote count, it may delay till Monday.

The process of transporting ballot boxes and officials to respective polling centers for tomorrow’s Presidential Election is complete. Approximately 300,000 state officials have been allocated for election duty.


Registered voters – 1,670,403
Polling Stations – 1,175

The commercial capital of Colombo comprises of 15 electorates. The distribution of ballot boxes and ballot papers to the 1175 polling stations in Colombo commenced this morning from Royal College and D.S.Senanayaka College in Colombo. Officers on election duty left the Colombo District Secretariat based in Narahenpita today (November 15).

Speaking to the media Colombo District Returning Officer Sunil Kannangara noted that after the polls end at 5:00 pm, they will start to count the postal votes at 5.15 pm at Royal College Colombo. He added that starting from 6:00 pm after the ballot boxes are delivered to the counting centers, they will start to count them. He noted that they hope to commence counting of votes at all counting centers by around 8:00 pm.


Registered voters – 1,751,892
Polling Stations – 1,184

The highest number of registered voters in this year’s presidential election is reported from the Gampaha district. The distribution of ballot boxes and ballot papers to the 1,184 voting centers in the Gampaha district, commenced from the Pattalagedara Siyanehe National Science Faculty.

Gampaha District Returning Officer Sunil Jayalath noted that after voting hours end, sealed ballot boxes will be taken to three counting centers. He said the counting centers are the Naiwala Technical Institute, Vidyaloka College, and Pattlagedara College.


Registered voters – 955,079
Polling Stations – 604

The distribution of ballot boxes and ballot papers to the 8 electorates of the Kalutara district commenced this morning, from the Kalutara, Pasdun Rata Education College.


Registered voters – 682,450
Polling stations – 63

The Anuradhapura District which belongs to the North Central Province consists of 07 electorates. Ballot boxes, ballot papers, and officials were transported to the polling station from Anuradhapura Central College.

District Returning Officer of Anuradhapura R. M. Wanninayeka said that its best if all voters could vote early, during the morning hours.


Registered voters – 326,443
Polling stations – 288

The ballot boxes were transported from the Pulathisipura National Academy of Education to the polling centers in the Polonnaruwa District. Polonnaruwa district consists of 03 electorates.

The District Returning Officer Panduka Abeywardena said after voting hours end tomorrow (November 16), the votes will be counted in 36 counting centers.


Registered voters – 858,749
Polling stations – 712

Ballot boxes were transported this morning to 10 electorates of the Galle district in the Southern province, from St. Aloysius’ College and the Technical College, Galle. In the meantime, the ballot boxes and officials were transported through the Madu river to the Maduwa polling center in Balapitiya.

According to the Galle District Returning Officer Somarathana Vidhanapathirana, in terms of security, staff, and equipment, they are prepared for the election tomorrow.


Registered voters – 652 417
Polling stations – 458

Ballot boxes and ballot papers for the seven electorates in the Matara district were brought to the Sanath Jayasuriya grounds from the Sujatha Vidyalaya in Matara.


Registered voters – 398,301
Polling stations – 428

The ballot boxes were dispatched and the officials were deployed from the Hindu College in Batticaloa today. The Batticaloa district in the Eastern Province consists of 3 electorates.


Registered voters – 503,790
Polling stations – 523

The ballot boxes of 4 electorates in the Digamadulla District were dispatched from the Hardy Technological Institute in Ampara.


Registered voters – 281,114
Polling stations – 306

The officials and ballot boxes required to carry out the election duties of the 3 electorates in the Trincomalee District were deployed from the Mihindupura Technical College.


Registered voters – 282,119
Polling stations – 353

The ballot boxes were dispatched to the Wanni Electorate from the Vavuniya District Secretariat Office today. Ballot boxes were also dispatched to the Jaffna district from the Jaffna Madya Maha Vidyalaya. The ballot boxes were dispatched from Kayts with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Navy.


Registered voters – 1,331,705
Polling stations – 959

Distribution of ballot boxes to polling stations in the Kurunegala district commenced this morning from Maliyadeva College and Sir John Kotalawala College in Kurunegala.


Registered voters – 281,114
Polling stations – 411

The process of transporting ballot papers, ballot boxes and officers to the polling stations in the Puttalam district commenced from Fathima Balika Vidyalaya and St.Andrew’s Madhya Maha Vidyalaya in Puttalam. 411 pollings stations have been established within the 5 electorates in the Puttalam district.


Registered voters – 1,111,860
Polling stations – 835

The distribution of ballot boxes to the polling stations in the Kandy district commenced this morning, from the Polgolla based National Cooperative Development Institute, Open University and the Mahaweli National College of Education.

District Returning Officer in Kandy Tissa Karunaratne said:

“All officers who were assigned, departed from the center in Polgolla at around 10.30 this morning, along with the ballot boxes, papers, and other equipment. We will begin counting postal votes at 5.15 pm at the National Cooperative Development Institute in Polgolla. We are expected to release postal vote results by 10.30 pm.”


Registered voters – 401,496
Polling stations – 327

Ballot boxes for the Matale district were distributed this morning from the Christ Church College, Matale.


Registered voters – 569,028
Polling stations – 488

The Nuwara-Eliya district comprises 4 electorates. Ballot boxes for the polling centers in the Nuwara-Eliya district were issued from The Gamini National School in Nuwara-Eliya. The Maskeliya electorate has the highest count of voters at this year’s election, which stands at 325,030.


Registered voters – 657,766
Polling stations – 523

Ballot boxes were transported this morning to 09 electorates, in the Badulla district from the Badulla Central College.


Registered voters – 366,524
Polling stations – 351

News 1st correspondent in the Monaragala District Nayana Kumara spoke to the returning officer on the preparations made in the district. He added that there is a generally peaceful environment across the Monaragala district. According to the returning officer over 1900 police and police special task force personnel have been deployed to ensure security across the district. He added that police patrols have been strengthened.


Registered voters – 864,978
Polling stations – 627

Ballot boxes were transported to polling centers in the Ratnapura district of the Sabaragamuwa Province, from the Ratnapura District secretariat office and the Technical college


Registered voters – 676440
Polling stations – 574

Ballot boxes were transported to polling centers in the Kegalle district from the Kegalle College and the Swarna Jayanthi College. The Kegalle District Returning Officer Chandrasiri Bandara noted that they have received the fullest cooperation from all officials who are involved in this process. He added that over 5,500 officials have been deployed here and 1200 police and special task force personnel have been deployed across the district.


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