Sri Lanka votes to elect its 7th Executive President, today

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Voting will be underway from 7.00am to 5.00pm.
Voters should produce their National Identity Card or a valid identification document, when voting.
After over 45 days of intense campaigning, Sri Lanka today heads for the polls, to elect its 7th Executive President.

All polling booths have been prepared for the vote to take place.

Voting will be underway at 12,815 polling booths, from 7.00am to 5.00pm today.

Voters should produce their National Identity Card or an accepted identification document, when voting.

Voters who have not received their official Polling Cards can cast their vote, upon proving their identity, if their names are included in the Electoral Register.

Voters, who have arrived in the country from overseas, need to bring their passport along with them.

Voters are discouraged from carrying baggage, and taking their mobile phones into the Polling Booths.
It is not allowed to let mobile phones ring at the Polling Booth, whist taking photographs with the use of camera phones is totally prohibited.

Speaking at a media briefing held yesterday, Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya explained the procedure of voting.

Voters can enter digit ‘1’, or mark an ‘X’, in the box opposite their candidate of choice, on the ballot paper.
If digit ‘1’ is entered, the voter is able to mark the second and the third preference, by entering digits ‘2’ and ‘3’.
It is not a must to enter preferences.
Those intending to vote for only one candidate can mark an ‘X’, as this is the familiar way of voting for many.
The Chairman of the Elections Commission requests voters to arrive at their respective Polling Booths early, without waiting for the last moment. He further stated, aides will be available at the Polling Booths, to assist visually impaired and differently abled voters.

The Elections Commission appeals to all public servants who are assigned for election duties, to be unbiased, during the voting period today.
Issuing a media release, Chairman of the Elections Commission: Mahinda Deshapriya said, all public servants – from part-time assistants to returning officers – should pay due attention in this regard, in order to carry out their duties appropriately.
The Commission advises public servants not to fear any sort of pressurizations, as they are only under obligation to the Elections Commission and the Judiciary.
Mr. Deshapriya advises, no sense of favouritism should be displayed, as “impartiality to the letter” is a decisive factor, in ensuring a free and fair election.

Police Media Spokesperson: SSP Ruwan Gunasekara states, the police have implemented an extensive security plan, to ensure a peaceful, free and fair election. He explains, canvasing for votes and loitering in groups within 500 meters radius of the Polling Booths is prohibited.
He warns against attempts to discourage voters from casting their ballots.

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence states, 153 foreign election observers will be monitoring the Presidential Polls. In addition, 3,000 election observers of the PAFFREL Organization will also join in the monitoring activities.
The Sri Lanka Human Rights Council is also monitoring the Presidential Election.

Post Master General: Ranjith Ariyaratne says, voters who have not received their Polling Cards can visit their regular post office until 5.00pm today, and obtain their respective Polling Cards upon proving their identity.

Meanwhile, the Department of Excise states, in view of the Presidential Election, all liquor shops will remain closed today and tomorrow.
This decision has been taken upon a request made by the Elections Commission.

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