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26” inches ballot paper for presidential poll

Local News from Sri Lanka: A 26-inch ballot paper, larger ballot boxes, hundreds of additional election duty workers and various expenses such as food, telecommunications and electricity bills were factors that pushed the cost of the presidential poll of 16 November close to Rs. 5 billion, officials said yesterday.

The Election Commission, which estimated expenditure to be around Rs. 4 million, had to make a new calculation after a record number of 35 candidates submitted nominations for the election contest. In 2015, the election was contested by only 19 candidates and the price was below Rs. 3 billion.

The EC said the Government Printer had sent samples of the presidential election ballot paper and that it would take larger ballot boxes to allow people to cast their votes conveniently.

Another job for the EC is to locate counting centers to fit additional staff.

“In each counting center there will be 70 polling agents as each candidate receives two each and at each center there will be 175 counting officers. Because of this, we need to put in place some new measures, “the EC said.

These include creating new ballot boxes and purchasing plastic ones, reviewing existing counting centers and finding alternative locations, adding additional staff as well as extra miscellaneous expenses to cover duty staff facilities.