The Sunday Leader

Polling Hours To Be Changed?

By Waruni Karunarathne

Election Commissioner is considering opening the polling centres at eight in the morning instead at seven. “The majority of the officers on election duty are female officers and they find it inconvenient to travel by seven in the morning to the polling centres and therefore we are considering opening the polling centres by eight in the morning,” Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya told The Sunday Leader. However he added that this is still an idea and may not be implemented during the upcoming election, but they will carry out necessary legal procedures to open the polling centres at eight.

The Election Commissioner recently discussed the upcoming Western and Southern Provincial Council Elections with the officials of the Human Right Council of Sri Lanka (HRCSL). According to Commissioner of the HRCSL Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa, the Election Commissioner General, the Deputy Election Commissioner and the Coordinating Secretary of the Election Commission participated in the discussion responding to an invitation sent by the HRCSL. He also added that during the discussion, the Election Commissioner expressed his concern over the female officers in duty during the election and thereby the need to open the polling centres at eight in the morning instead at seven was highlighted.

He added, “We discussed how to work and coordinate with one another during the election and reached a common understanding how we could coordinate work with the two HRCSL units set in the Western and Southern provinces to monitor the election.” Dr Mahanamahewa said that the HRCSL has prepared guidelines for public officers, police and those involved in the election work and submitted them to the Election Commission while the Election Commissioner put forth the guidelines of the Election Commission.

He further added that a decision is being made to ban candidates from displaying their posters or symbols in the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) buses. However he said that they do not have the authority over private buses to implement the decision. Even though the HRCSL said that they requested from the Election Commissioner to allow the officials of the HRCSL to monitor the polling centres of the upcoming elections, Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya told The Sunday Leader that no such request was made.

3 Comments for “Polling Hours To Be Changed?”

  1. Shaik Anwar Ahamath

    I cannot see the objectives in discouraging the workers to vote before they start work. We should be extending the voting hours, not reducing it.

  2. gamarala

    Polling should commence late – even 9 am and cease also late – say at 8 pm.
    This will be conveniant to all.

  3. what is the reason for time change.it is a meaningless.

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