Provincial Council Election Ballots in Sri Lanka

Elections are done a bit differently here. No surprise there. But there was a surprise – to me – when Fahim’s election ballot arrived in the mail. Election ballots being mailed out I’m not used to.

Election ballots that are very nearly bigger than humans I’m even less used to.

Here’s my understanding of how the elections process works. I think I’ve got it straight, but if I make any mistakes, please feel free to correct me. 😀

The ballot is organized by party, and all members of a party are listed under that party. Each party can have a maximum of 42 candidates (I believe).

A voter can select 6 (I don’t know if this is the exact number or an example that Fahim used) candidates to vote for, but they must all be from the same party. No voting across party lines.

When the votes are counted, they count towards the party first. Each party is allocated a number of seats based on the percentage of votes they receive. Then their candidates win those seats based on having received the top number of votes in that party.

My understanding is that when you vote, you don’t vote for a candidate in your particular area. It seems like provincial councils are not divided at all into constituencies. Everyone is lumped together.

Oh, yeah. And, you know, all voting is done in Sinhala or Tamil. No English. If you don’t read Sinhala or Tamil, you’ll have to get a translator. Not a huge problem – the vast majority of people here read & write either Sinhala or Tamil. English-only locals are extremely rare.

Author: LMAshton

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