undelivered - UNP fears rigging
More than 170,000 poll cards of a total of 982,721 – around 20 per cent of the total voting strength in the Eastern Province -- still remain with the postal department undelivered despite the official period for distribution of poll cards ending on Friday.
While the main opposition UNP said it feared the undelivered poll cards might be used to rig the elections in a massive way, Post Master General K. B. Dissanayake told The Sunday Times the poll cards were being stored safely in the post offices in respective areas.
“The post offices were unable to distribute the cards because people have changed their place of residence or gone abroad. This happens in every election,” he said. Mr. Dissanayake gave an assurance that the poll cards stored in the post offices in the province would be “highly secure”.
“We can take full responsibility that nothing will happen to the poll cards. No disappearances or any other form of tampering will occur,” he said.
Meanwhile, an official of the Elections Commissioner’s Department said voters could collect their cards from the post offices after proving their identity or they could obtain the cards from the returning officer or the Assistant Election Commissioner of the province.
However, the UNP’s election monitoring unit chief Themiya Hurulle charged that many voters in Batticaloa district had complained that ballot papers had not been delivered.
He said the party feared the undelivered poll cards could be used to cast false ballots and rig the elections.