4-foot ballot papers, thousands of extra boxes

By Malik Gunatilleke

The Elections Department is considering a change in the format of ballot papers, restrictions on the number of counting centre agents and the introduction of more ballot boxes to deal with problems arising from the increased number of candidates for the April 8 general elections.

A senior election official said yesterday these and other measures were being considered because of practical difficulties in conducting the polls and the counting of votes. He said the time factor was one of the major problems as 50-inch ballot papers in some areas would be difficult to handle at the polling booths.

He said Election Officials in districts where a large number of parties and independent groups were contesting have suggested two-sided ballot papers and circular papers in order to deal with the problems.

“It will take to detach long ballot papers and hand them over to the voters. After that the voters will have to go through a long list of names and mark their vote along with their preferential votes. Then this paper will have to be folded and that too is time consuming. Counting these votes will also take additional time,” he explained.

A total of 7620 candidates are contesting from 637 recognised parties and independent groups in 22 electoral districts. Citing the Batticaloa District as an example, the official said 360 candidates from 45 political parties and independent groups were contesting.

The District’s Assistant Elections Commissioner, T. Krishnanandalingam said he was expecting the ballot paper to be as long as 30 inches or about 2½ feet which was almost double the length of the ballot paper used in the last general election.

“Because of the length of the ballot paper we can only accommodate around 600 ballots in one ballot box whereas we could have put around 1000 in previous elections. We will need about 250 extra boxes,” he said.

This meant the district would need 700 boxes for the April 8 elections in contrast to the 450 at the 2004 polls. Meanwhile, the Government Factory has been ordered to provide 1,500 ballot boxes by March 25.
Mr. Krishnanandalingam said political party leaders and independent group leaders would be allowed to have only two representatives this year at a counting centre due to accommodation problems despite the number of counting centres being doubled.

He said that an extra day might be needed for counting Similar problems are being faced in the Digamadulla District where 660 candidates from 66 parties and independent group are contesting. Elections officials said the number of polling officials had been tripled for polling and counting duties
The number of counting centres had been increased from 29 to 45.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other News Articles
Lanka in diplomatic war with UN
Lanka facing El Nino heat
FM admits seeking UN job for son
4-foot ballot papers, thousands of extra boxes
900 JPs before polls
Cottage of beauty goes up in a blaze
Longer the ballot, bigger the democracy
Talk at the cafe Spectator
Dengue larvicide import still not approved
Dissolved House to meet to debate emergency
AG says Govt. would take note of UN rights comments
Presentation on continental shelf limits at opportune time: FM
Ransom paid: Somali pirates to release Lankan crew
Draft Information Act to be presented to President tomorrow
Call to prevent forest fires breaking out
Nandikadal revisited
US envoy: Challenging time for journalists
Con man blackmails unsuspecting women
From the shadows to the limelight
Intra-party battles to the fore as campaigning kicks off
Candidates fight shy of declaring assets
“Don’t allow the elections to pollute the environment”
Tit-for-tat is the name of the game
The ludicrous rise of cardboard, paper ‘protectors’
Gangsters play police to protect politicos
Tolerance would be reverence
Sri Lankan doctor cured a South African diplomat’s wife


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2010 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution