News

Mock poll a success: Election DG

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The Election Secretariat said the mock poll held yesterday (7) to test the Covid-19 health guidelines for elections and its preparedness for the parliamentary poll, likely to be held between late July and mid-August, was successful.

Director General of Elections Saman Sri Ratnayake said the main objective of the mock poll was to test whether the health guidelines were practical or not.

“The mock poll lasted only two hours and it was a success, and health guidelines were practical and there was no issue with the guidelines,” he said.

The parliamentary poll was initially scheduled for 25 April but had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka, which prompted the authorities to announce a nationwide lockdown from 20 March.

The mock poll was held in Ambalangoda and the voting speed was measured at 2.3 minutes per vote, which was good, Ratnayake said.
Some 200 voters from the Ambalangoda polling division in the Galle District were chosen to “vote” at the mock poll, according to the Election Secretariat.

The Election Commission (EC) said they had formulated a set of guidelines to conduct the election poll in close co-operation with the health authorities.
EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said the guidelines revolved around social distancing, washing hands, and wearing facemasks.
At the mock poll, special attention was given to the time taken to cast a vote while sticking to the health guidelines.
When asked about the cost for the mock poll, Ratnayake said the total cost was not yet calculated.