Home / Letters to the Editor/ Mission of Election Commission

Mission of Election Commission

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 5 February 2018 00:00

With the installation of the independent Elections Commission, it is satisfying to witness those polls laws being observed to the letter where the ongoing campaigns of LG election candidates are concerned. We raise our hats to the Chairman of the commission and his officials for their dedicated efforts supported by the independent election monitors.

However, it is pertinent to state that the real success of an election process finally lies in the valid vote percentage. Historically, unpolled number of votes at our elections has shown the potential to reverse the results. For example, in the last Presidential election in 2015, it was found that the majority obtained by the winner was 449,072 while the number of registered voters who did not cast their vote remained at an astounding 2,780,113! It is a fact that the unpolled number included a lethargic voter community, those employed abroad, other non-residents, patients, disabled and those not holding valid IDs. The irony however is that a substantial number of otherwise eligible voters were also prevented from voting due to non-registration in the current polls register.

Shouldn’t this scenario spur the election officials to find ways and means to make the electorate cast their vote in higher numbers as far as possible? In countries like Australia voting at an election is compulsory. In democratic Sri Lanka, they discourage people from voting by showing the rule book and cast the blame on the voter. Should it be the case?

In simple terms, what is required on an election day between 7.00am and 4.00pm is to ensure legitimacy of the votes cast by preventing, impersonators, foreigners (non-citizens) and those citizens below 18 years of age from voting as citizens of Sri Lanka. Simple identification based on appearance, accent, the language spoken and identification by the local polling agents alone will prove that a person is a local or a foreigner. Only if a person is likely to be below 18 years, that the officials should exercise caution by calling for a valid identity card carrying the date of birth. In order to fully avoid impersonation, it is necessary to hold any election on one day without holding in instalments. It is commendable that the Elections Commission has taken steps to hold local government elections on one day. Finally, it is necessary to reiterate that the objective is to get more citizens to vote at an election to ensure democracy. Thus, there’s no gain saying in describing the ultimate mission of the Elections Commission as ensuring maximum polling percentage and minimum rejected poll percentage.


Bernard fernando



Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Of love and struggle: The interconnected feminist movements of South Asia

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The last Cat’s Eye column observed all that there is to celebrate in the recent Supreme Court of India’s judgement on Sec. 377, which decriminalised adult consensual same-sex sexual activity in private. We used this ‘magnificent’ decision, wh

Accessibility at buildings and places – Indispensable need to enjoy civil rights

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Have you not yet realised that the chances are now very high that at any stage or any moment in life, for a short time or for a long time, for different reasons, you or your loved ones could experience physical and/or sensory impediments, and fall in

Over-tourism: The new buzz word in tourism

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Periodically the tourism industry is in the habit of coming up with some interesting name to describe a new emerging trend or situation in the industry. Sometimes the phenomena is not new, but has become relevant and topical enough to ‘package’ a

Depreciation of the rupee and Sri Lanka’s dilemma

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The rupee depreciated by Rs. 29 from 2005 to 2014 and the average year-on-year depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee was 2.8% per year. Official foreign reserves increased from $ 2.7 billion to $ 8.2 billion over the same period. In stark contrast, th

Columnists More