The way to cast your vote

Sunday, 3 November 2019

National Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya explained the voting process for the presidential election on November 16.He said voting time has been extended by an hour and accordingly the voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.He said, since the counting of votes would begin an hour later there will be a delay in issuing the results. He said according to the Election Act, if one is voting for one candidate, number 1 or a cross should be marked in front of the desired candidate.

“The Election Commission recognises a cross too being marked in the slot in front of the name of the desired candidate as a valid vote. But this can only be done if the voter was voting for a single candidate,” he said.He explained that two preferential votes could also be marked.“In such cases, we advise the voters to cast their vote by marking number 1 in the box in front of the candidate of their liking and proceed with 2 and 3 as preferences,” he added. “They can mark 1, or they can mark 1 and 2, or else they can mark 1, 2 and 3.”“Crosses and numbering cannot be done together. Such a vote would be considered invalid. Also if three crosses are marked that too will be invalid.”
How the winner is declared
The candidate who obtains 50 percent +1 of the total valid votes will be declared the winner.
In the event none of the 35 candidates receives 50%+1 votes, the Election Commission goes for the second count.The process begins with the votes of the top two candidates being set aside. The preference votes they receive from those who vote for other candidates are taken into consideration.
If the second and third preference on the ballot papers of the other 33 candidates is marked for the top two candidates it is added as a vote for those candidates. Thereafter whoever receives the highest votes is declared the winner. (The requirement to have 50%+1 does not apply at this stage.)
If the vote count ends in a tie, the Election Commission would go for a draw or toss to determine the winner