PC poll cards with top candidates;
Officials downplay leak
By Mahangu Weerasinghe
Polling cards for the upcoming Provincial Council Elections have
come into circulation in the Kandy District this week, ahead of
their scheduled date of official release, with some cards making
their way into the hands of top candidates.
Provincial Council candidate who wished to remain anonymous told
The Sunday Times that several senior members of his party were in
possession of blue-coloured polling cards which they were planning
to make use of "liberally" in rigging the July 10 polls.
candidate, however, said that he did not want to take up the matter
officially, as he feared repercussions from within the party. The
Sunday Times investigations show that the Elections Department is
still in the process of writing addresses on the polling cards,
the delivery of which is due later this month.
Printer Neville Nanayakkara told The Sunday Times that the polling
cards for the PC election had been printed early this year as the
terms of the many Provincial Councils were to end in April/May.
Nanayakkara, however, admitted that security arrangements implemented
when polling cards were being printed were relatively lax when compared
with the printing of ballot papers.
we contacted an Elections Department official for comment, he downplayed
the significance of polling cards reaching the hands of candidates
and the need to adopt countermeasures such as pasting stickers.
that fraud detection at a polling booth was the responsibility of
polling officers, he said the polling card was used merely for identification
purposes. He, however, conceded that leaked polling cards might
District Additional District Secretary E.M.N.M. Ekanayake, one of
the officials responsible for the conduct of the elections in the
district, declined to comment on the situation.
apathy that encourages malpractice appears to continue in spite
of warnings on the reverse of the polling cards that possessing
a polling card other than a one addressed to the holder is an offence.