Local council polls in January
Voters to be educated on how to vote in multi-member wards
The Election Commission has set in motion the official machinery for local government elections in January next year.
Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya told the Sunday Times that an estimated 15.6 million people would be eligible to cast their votes to elect members for 335 Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas.
Mr Deshapriya said that besides training sessions for election staff and state service officers, “we have to undertake another important task – to educate the public on the setting up of multi-member wards.”
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He said the Commission was now in touch with the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils to formally obtain the reasons behind these multi-member wards. He said it would be much the same as the multi-member constituencies that existed before and gave the voter an opportunity to select different members from different communities as their representatives.
Election officials said that of the 4,900 wards countrywide demarcated for different local government institutions, 165 will have two members each. A further four wards will have three members each. Thus, they said, 330 members and 12 members will be picked from these two types of multi-member wards.
Polling booths will also carry boards to educate the voter that they were voting in a multi-member ward.