Elections Commission anticipates 80 percent voter turnout

The National Elections Commission is anticipating an 80 percent voter turnout at Wednesday’s Parliamentary Election.

National Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said that the public have been assured that polling booths will be safe from the coronavirus.

He said that if the weather is good 80 percent voter turnout is anticipated.

Last week, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said that most people are likely to avoid going to polling booths because of the coronavirus.

CMEV Co-Convenor and Centre for Policy Alternatives Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu told reporters that while there was a voter turnout of around 83 percent at the last Presidential election, the numbers at the 5th August Parliamentary election is likely to be much lower.

Meanwhile, Deshapriya urged voters to ensure they exercise their right to vote and not stay away fearing they will contract the coronavirus.

Earlier, the National Election Commission said that wearing a face mask is a must for voters at the Parliamentary election on Wednesday.

Voters will however be required to remove the mask and verify their identity to the first officer at the polling booth.

Hand sanitisers will be used at the entrance and exit of the polling booths.

Social distancing will also be maintained in the polling booths. (Colombo Gazette)