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Delay in issuing election results

By Sajitha Prematunge

Kelaniya University, Computing and Technology Faculty, Dean Dr. Gamini Wijeratne said yesterday that he could not comment on the delay in releasing Saturday’s local government polls results as the University Vice Chancellor had asked him to leave that matter to the Election Commission.

In a previous interview with The Island, Wijeratne assured that the new election results tabulation software developed by the Kelaniya University, Computing and Technology Faculty was transparent and accurate as it was foolproof.

Under the new system votes were counted at polling stations and result sheet sent to the district offices. Data was manually fed into the system at district level by Returning Officers (RO) and Assistant Returning Officers (ARO). All results were tabulated online using the system at district level. Documents containing the data were to be faxed to the Election Commission to be compared against the digital data set for double verification. All data should have been available online, for final computing.

When contacted Election Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya said that he had nothing new to add to the statement issued on February 11.

In a statement issued at 1.30 am on February 11 the Chairman of the Election Commission apologized for the delay in issuing the 2018 Local Government Election results.

According to the statement, although the counting of votes at the polling stations was on schedule and Returning Officers (RO) had received the results via fax or telephone, the delay was due to the fact that in certain cases the postal vote count had been sent separately and not included in the total count. Consequently, the RO had been forced to double check the total count in order to avoid any mistakes in the final count.

The statement said that until the final results of the LG authorities were entered into the system by the ROs the Election Commission is unable to release final results of the relevant LG authorities.

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