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Noting voter details legal

8 April 2010 09:46 am - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Jamila Najmuddin


Amidst concerns expressed by some voters that a few polling agents are noting down their voter number on the counter foil of the ballot paper thus leaving room for the voter to be identified, the Department of Elections said the move is not illegal and falls within the elections regulations.

A high ranking official at the Elections Department told Daily Mirror online that they had received some complaints by voters who demanded for an explanation after their numbers on the polling cards were noted but said that they were explained that the move was not illegal.

“Noting the numbers on the reverse side of the counter foil falls within the legal requirements. I referred to the law, and it is a must that all officers enter the number of the voter on the reverse side of the counter foil. This is not illegal,” the official said.

However due to the large number of complaints, election observers will raise the matter with Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka on the purpose of noting the numbers.

PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi told Daily Mirror online that several such complaints had been lodged from Colombo and the purpose of such a move was not known.

“We received such complaints from some voters but we need to know the purpose of this. We do not know whether this will have any impact,” Hettiarachchi said.  (Daily Mirror online)
 

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  Comments - 12

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  • Thursday, 08 April 2010 05:55 PM

    What is not made clear above is that the counterfoil of the ballot book has a serial number, which also appears on the back of the ballot paper. It is clearly, no longer a secret ballot. When the polling agent writes your area registration number on the counterfoil, it makes it very easy for the government to find out who didn’t vote for them. Just take the pile of opposition votes and the counterfoils of that booth, with the voter registration list.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 06:12 PM

    Justifying 'democracy,' in Sri Lanka, to the rest of the world.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 06:42 PM

    So much for the 'secret ballot' ...

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 09:53 AM

    Hope they don't send white vans after people who didnt vote for the govt.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 09:57 AM

    This is unfair by voters. This is why I am so afraid to vote and will not vote as long as Rajapaksa is president.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 10:25 AM

    Everything happens in this once blessed land. And the EC Department says thats OK. This doubt could have been settled immediately if the presiding officers knew the exact reason and explained to the concerned voters.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 10:26 AM

    How could it be legal?. I am from Maharagama.Nothing should be wriiten or marked on the ballot paper or on the counter-foil?.Funny election laws.The lady wrote it on my ballot paper.This is why I am concerned.

    Ballot paper belongs to the voter.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 10:29 AM

    The main purpose of this undemocratic process is to make the life of CID easier.
    They can easily hunt down the opposition voters and fill the recently opened detention centers very quickly.
    This is the direction of current Government.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 10:35 AM

    It may not be illiegal but it certainly goes against the spirit of a secret ballot.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 10:35 AM

    It is not illegal as long as it is not noted down on the ballot paper itself. Otherwise the ballot would not be a secret ballot.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 10:50 AM

    Legal or Illegal, such action had not been resorted so far and now that polling agents have started this process which will surely help to identify the voter's political preferences, and knowing very well how vindictive this government really is, we may be in for another witch-hunt of those who voted for the opposition. Maybe, the government will have to open up a large number of detention centres too to accommodate these voters pretty soon.

    Thursday, 08 April 2010 11:00 AM

    I thing the purpose of secret balloting is to avoid any repercussions or the fear of any repercussions after the elections. But in Sri Lanka anything is possible and the politicians can do anything to secure their power. How the present Govt. especially the ruling family handle the opposition or the people with different opinion would signal the voters not to cast their votes to other parties than the ruling party. In such case we don't need any elections in this country. Can the EC explain why the note the polling card numbers are being noted?


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