01. To whom is the postal voting facility provided?
- State officers who would be engaged in election duties
- Officers and servants engaged in essential services
- Personnel of three services, police and Civil Defense Force engaged in security duties in all over the island
02. What are the methods available for the postal voters to obtain information when they submit applications for postal voting?
- Electoral registers of all districts where the election will be held, are exhibited in District Secretariats.
- Electoral Registers of Divisional Secretariat areas are made available in respective Divisional Secretariats.
- Electoral registers of Grama Niladhari Divisions are made available at respective GN offices.
- Information can be obtained from the list of registered voters affixed to the receipt of BC forms distributed house to house at the revision of voters register.
- Information on registered voters can also be obtained by calling the telephone number 1919 of the Government Information Centre. The applicant can obtain the polling district number and the serial number when he gives the full name, NIC number, district of residence and the GN Division.
03. What are the instances where postal voting application is rejected?
- When the name of an administrative district is incorrect
- When the person is not eligible for postal voting
- When the information in the application and the electoral register do not tally
- When the Serial number given for the name is not correctly written
- When the applicant has not duly signed the application
- When the application is not certified by the Certifying Officer
- Late receipt of the application by the Returning Officer
- When the applicant is not expected to be engaged in election duties
04. How to find out whether the application is accepted or not?
- By informing the applicant whether the application is accepted or not
- This letter is sent to the voter with a copy to the certifying officer
- A copy of the letter is sent to the private address of the applicant, if it is considered necessary
05. Who can be present at the time of issuing postal ballot papers?
- The staff on issuing duty
- One representative appointed by the Election Agent or Authorized Agent of a contesting candidate.
06. What are the instances where the issue of postal ballot paper could be rejected?
- When it is detected or proved otherwise that one voter has two names
07. From whom should the signature be obtained on the declaration of secrecy?
- From the certifying officer for postal voting
- From the Returning Officer/Assistant Returning Officer or by himself in the case of a postal voting certifying officer
Matters related to the officers engaged in postal voting duties
1.What should be done to the insured postal vote packets (PV-D envelop) when the vote could not be marked before the date/dates allocated to mark postal ballot papers?
They should be handed over to the Election Office of the district where the office is situated, on the very next day.
2.What is the form used for this propose?
3.What are the documents that should be sent by the Returning Officer to every postal voter (if he/she is a certifying officer or if he/she is not a certifying officer, what should be sent through his/her certifying officer)?
- Ballot paper
- The identity declaration where the printed number in the ballot paper is written
- “B” envelop – The envelop to insert the marked ballot paper (Number of the ballot paper is mentioned here)
- “A” Envelop – The envelop where the address of the Returning Officer and serial number of the postal voter are written for the purpose of returning the documents to the Returning Officer after marking the ballot
- The Sticker (Silver Colour) used to return the “A” cover.
4.What is the responsibility and the function of the certifying officer?
- Certifying of applications of qualified postal voters working under the supervision of the certifying officers: if any part of the application is amended the certifying officer should place his signature in all such places and certify. The Certifying officer should be satisfied that all those who submit applications for postal voting facility, do have the right to cast vote by post and be satisfied about his identity.
- Applications received daily should be immediately signed and posted or handed over to the relevant Returning Officer. It is the responsibility of the Certifying Officer to send the certified applications within the prescribed time period
- Certifying officer should make entries in the journal of the Certifying Officer about the applications certified by him. If the journals, were not received on time he should maintain a CR book to make such entries.
- The applicant’s copy of the acknowledgement received from the Returning Officer which states whether the application is accepted or not, should be handed over to him/ her without any delay.
- The insured postal voting packets received for the certified applications, should be stored securely and they should be marked by the postal voter and sent to the relevant Returning Officer on the same day.
- Representatives of contesting parties or independent groups should be invited to observe the process on the postal voting day.
- Postal voting packets of those who do not turn up for marking the ballot on the 2 days prescribed, should be handed over on the very next day to the Election Office of the district where such office is situated.
- Action should be taken to hand over the certifying officer’s journal to the Returning Officer as instructed by him
5.What are the steps that should be taken in regard to the issue of postal ballot papers?
- Issues can start immediately after the expiry of the time given to the agents.
- Before commencing the issue, attendance of agents should be marked after examining their appointment letters
- Empty ballot boxes should be shown to the agents and the boxes should be sealed in the presence the agents
- All prerequisites for the issuing centre should be furnished in advance
- Opportunity should be provided to the agents who are coming to observe the issuing of ballot papers
- Assistant Returning Officer should obtain the declarations in the form “C” form the staff and the agents
- Thereafter the issuing of postal ballot papers can commence. Serial number and the name of the voter has to be loudly read out as done in the polling station.
- Serial number in this case is the number given in the postal voters register
6. What are the responsibilities of certifying officers in regard to postal voting packets?
- Certifying officer should educate the officers in his office who handle the mail and arrange to deliver the packets addressed to his name, directly without opening them
- The insured postal voting packets addressed to his name should be stored securely without opening
- The officers under his charge should be divided to the 2 days given for postal voting and they should be informed in advance
- Party Secretaries/Authorized agents and leaders of independent groups should be informed to send one representative to observe the proceedings
- It is essential to ensure the identity of the postal voter with the identity card before opening the packet
- The voters should be allowed to mark the ballot in secret
- Those envelops should be sealed in front of the voter in order to maintain the secrecy of the ballot paper and the packets should be handed over to the post office to be sent by insured post. Arrangement in this regard hare to be discussed with the post office in advance
- Opportunity should be provided to the agents appointed by parties and groups and observer groups to observe this process
- Facilities should be provided to the Assistant Returning Officers sent by the Returning Officer to observe the marking of ballot papers
Matters related to the officers engaged in postal voting duties and political parties
1. How many agents representing a candidate can be appointed to one Assistant Returning Officer’s office on the special days for postal Voting?
2.By whom are those appointments made?
Party secretary/ Authorized agent or independent group
Matters related to the officers, political parties and observer groups who are engaged in postal voting duties
1. How many domestic observers can stay and observe the postal ballot marking in one postal voting centre.?
One observer each from domestic observer groups approved by the Election Commission can participate.
2. Arrangements required for the days allocated for postal voting
- No symbol or colour decorations should be exhibited in the premises where the postal voting is marked
- It should be ensured that no banners, cutouts, pictures or any promotional material of any contestng party/candidate are displayed
- Opportunity should be provided for the postal voter to mark his vote freely in secret, that is without any pressure to show how he marked the vote, or to display the manner of voting
- Taking photographs or videoing of the postal vote marking centre is totally prohibited
- No candidate of a political party/independent group serving in the institution where the postal vote marking is taking place, should be allowed to enter the premises or to have any contact with the poll staff
- No persons other than those who are permitted, the members of the poll staff, representatives of domestic election observer groups allowed by the Election Commission and Assistant Returning Officers who are visiting to supervise the centre are allowed to stay in the postal vote marking centre
- Identity of the postal voter of the institution should be established through a prescribed document and there should be a prudent procedure to select the particular insured postal voting packet.
- Postal ballot paper marked by the postal voter should be inserted in the “B” envelop and the envelop should be pasted in front of the voter. The identity declaration signed by the voter and certified by the certifying officer should be attached to the envelop and inserted in the “A” envelope and properly pasted. Ash colour sticker should be affixed on this and it should be handed over to the post office. A receipt should be obtained to assure that the packet was handed over.