Four million voters did not vote at last General Election – CMEV | Daily News

Four million voters did not vote at last General Election – CMEV

Center of Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) National Coordinator Manjula Gajanayake said that the lawmakers and other stakeholders including the Election Commission of Sri Lanka (ECSL) and Election Monitors should be ashamed because nearly four million registered voters could not cast their votes at the last Parliamentary Elections.

Gajanayake said that the CMEV has prepared a detailed report and called for a Parliamentary Select Committee to come up with an ‘absentee or early voting system’ to resolve the issue.

“The CMEV is of the view that Parliament should take immediate action to sort out this issue before conducting any future elections,” Gajanayake said. “Parliament did not address the issue for almost seven decades after the first Parliamentary Election was held in 1947,” he said.

Results of the 2020 Parliamentary Elections show that 3,920,576 voters did not use their votes due to lack of an appropriate facility or mechanism while another 744,373 willingly or unwillingly spoilt their vote.

Gajanayake said that since its inception, the CMEV has been calling for an Inclusive Election Process and said that the Election Commission should act as the Election Management Body (EMB).

He said that according to the Election Act, only about 700,000 persons of over 16 million electors qualify for postal voting and it was important that the issue is addressed.

He said it was clear that a large number of voters had enjoyed early voting. In the US, of the 170 million registered voters, nearly 100 million were pre-election voters, while 26 per cent of the 44 million voters in South Korea voted before their Election Day.

Gajanayake said that the best way to sort out the issue was to establish a Parliamentary Select Committee to address all the issues related to the electoral process in Sri Lanka.

He said that appointing such a committee was imperative as the CMEV has observed that Sri Lankan politicians and election officials are reluctant to change and make use of modern technology.