EC to conduct mock counting

By Sarah Hannan

The Election Commission (EC) will conduct mock counting exercises to determine efficient methods for the same and also the timeframe that would be required to complete counting whilst adhering to the Covid-19-related health guidelines at the upcoming election.

Speaking to The Morning, Election Secretariat Commissioner General Saman Sri Rathnayake said that although the EC is not short of the necessary resource personnel, it will have to closely examine how preferential votes can be counted, and whether the counting of votes and subsequently accounting for preferential votes too, could be done within the span of a day.

“We have already determined that counting would commence on 6 August. While in the regular climate we could have allocated one classroom for about 20-30 counting officers, this time we can only accommodate 10 officers per classroom. This means we will have to increase the amount of classroom space that will be utilised.”

Mock counting sessions should also be carried out in order to gather information on the differences in the lengths of polling sheets, he said, as some electoral districts this time around have a record number of contestants.

Although the initial count to determine the number of votes cast per party can be easily obtained, the counting of preferential votes is seen as a challenge by the EC.