If you’ve been following the local news, you’re probably aware that the local government elections for Sri Lanka are just around the corner. Unlike the Presidential elections, the local government elections are where members for municipal, urban and divisional councils would be elected.
Just to put things into perspective, 15.8 million Sri Lankans will be eligible to elect members totaling 8,293 seats across 341 local authorities. 2018 also marks the first time in Sri Lankan history that an election will take place under a mixed electoral system.
What is a mixed electoral system?
Here, 60% of members will be elected via the first-past-the-post voting system. This is where a voter would go to their respective polling booths, and vote for a candidate of their choice. The candidate who receives the most amount of votes would win.
The remaining 40% of the election process would be via a closed list proportional representation. Here, voters can cast their vote for political parties as a whole, rather than individual members.
By now you’re probably wondering why you’re reading about this on a site dedicated to technology and IT awareness. Well, you’re about to find out.
Casting Your Vote for the Elections
As part of the Elections e-services, which is an initiative of the Election commission of Sri Lanka, you can now check your local authority voter registration details. The process is actually quite simple. Rather than spending countless hours at your local municipal council, you can simple click here to access the details.
Checking your eligibility
After entering your NIC number, you will also be asked to enter the Administration District. If you know the district, you can select it from the drop-down box or else you can leave it at the default value. Type in the code shown below the text box and hit the “Display” button and you should see something like this.
As you can see, the results include your full name, SLIN/NIC and household address as well. If you do not have a valid NIC number or have entered it incorrectly, you’re probably going to see a message like this:
In addition, if the details shown are incorrect or incomplete, you can submit a query with details that include your name, address, telephone number and email address. You can also include a message detailing what details are incorrect and what needs to be updated.
What is the purpose to all this?
If you haven’t already noticed, the Government of Sri Lanka is spearheading an initiative to digitally empower all Government agencies and related organizations to move Sri Lanka towards a more digital economy. The goal here is to make all government services available online so that citizens can use these services without the hassle of going to Government offices.
We’ve already seen the Digital health sector in action and we are also seeing it in action with regard to educational sector as well. Overall, while not exactly a mind blowing feature, the ability to confirm your right to vote online would definitely benefit Sri Lankan voters because they can do in a few minutes what would perhaps take them hours.