Ballot boxes to be placed in special containers and kept overnight

By Easwaran Rutnam 

Ballot papers will be kept at counting centers overnight under tight security after voting ends on election day until counting of votes begins the next day.

National Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya told Daily Mirror that the sealed ballot boxes will reach the counting centers after voting ends and will be placed into another bigger box which will also be then sealed.

Deshapriya said the sealed boxes will be kept in the room at the counting center and the room will be locked.

For over 10 hours no one will be allowed into the counting center where the ballot boxes are placed until counting of the ballots begins the next day (6th August).

Deshapriya said that special security measures implemented at past elections will also be implemented together with new measures being introduced at the 5th August election.

“No one can change the ballot box, open the box or do any changes. It cannot happen,” he said.

Deshapriya said that all political parties and independent groups contesting the election can send two agents each for each polling divisions to stay overnight.

He also said that the Police in uniform, plain clothed Police and officers of the Election Commission will also stay at counting centers overnight.

Meanwhile, Deshapriya said that people in home quarantine who have been cleared by the health authorities will be given a special time to vote at the normal polling booths.

He said that since the original idea of mobile booths had been dropped the people in home quarantine will be given time between 4pm and 5pm to vote at special booths.

Deshapriya also insisted that all measures will be taken to ensure the polling booths are safe for the voters and Covid free.

He urged the voters to ensure they exercise their right to vote and not stay away fearing they will contract the coronavirus. (Colombo Gazette/Daily Mirror)