Jaffna sees sharp fall in number of voters

electionThe Jaffna electoral district in the Northern Province has witnessed a sharp drop of over 25 per cent in the number of voters, The Hindu newspaper reported.

According to the 2010 data, this electoral district, covering Killinochchi, too, had about 7.21 lakh voters, which fell to 5.29 lakh in 2014.

The steep decline arouses curiosity as the Eelam War IV was over in May 2009, over a year before the release of the 2010 data.

Explaining the difference, M. M. Mohamed, Additional Commissioner of Elections (Legal and Investigation), told The Hindu that the house-to-house enumeration of electors did not take place properly there till 2010 due a variety of factors. It was only since 2011 a proper enumeration has been carried out annually.

Asked about the chance of eligible young voters being left out, S.K. Sitrampalam, Professor Emeritus of the University of Jaffna, said that as field level officials were doing their job in an exhaustive manner, the chances for omission were “very, very less.”

Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence said the entire issue called for a closer study and the organisation would consider taking up such an exercise after the poll authorities released the 2015 data by October.

Apart from Jaffna, the Vanni electoral district, comprising Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullativu, has seen a marginal decline. At present, the number of voters stands at 2.53 lakhs, down from 2.67 lakhs five years ago.

All other 20 electoral districts, including three in the Eastern Province where Tamils and Muslims constitute a majority, have seen varying levels of rise in the population of electors.