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Counting votes begins today:  Results likely to be released by 2.30 p.m. 

By Sarah Hannan

Election Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya during the polls day wrap-up media briefing noted that the counting of ballots will commence today (6) at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. at the main 77 counting centres.

Election Secretariat Director General Saman Sri Rathnayake noted that in adherence to the health guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the number of counting centres were doubled this time.

“In the 77 main counting centres, we have appointed 2,820 counting halls, out of which 453 halls will be used for postal vote counting and 2,367 will be used to count the ordinary votes. Each main counting centre will have a senior presiding officer and eight assistant presiding officers, and each counting hall will have 20-30 counting officers.”

The EC is hopeful of releasing results by 2.30 p.m. today.

Rathnayake also noted that this time, in addition to the regular duty officers, health service professionals too will be deployed to assist in taking temperature readings and health screening for the officers before entering the premises.

The final result of the general election is scheduled to be announced before midnight today, while the preferential votes announcement will be made before midnight tomorrow (7).