Voting is difficult, for me at least. First thing is, you have to be registered. In the last Presidential election we were between houses (paperwork wise) and I couldn’t vote. That sucked. If you’re not registered now it’s too late. Then you need an ID. Then you have to figure out the actual ballot.
I won’t get into this too much because I don’t understand. I have always been registered either at my grandparents house or my parents. Once they are established with the Grama Sevaka I think they get something in the mail asking them to register the voters in the house. My only experience is receiving the ballot paper – one per address – which has the names and ID numbers of everyone that can vote. They only tip I can give here is to visit your family occasionally.
Getting In The Booth
So, then you go vote. For me this has always been the nearest school, which is usually walking distance. To get in the booth you need your ballot paper and a valid ID. This is usually NIC. I’ve lost that card but I’ve read that a Passport or Drivers License is also valid. Better be.
Then voting. This part is confusing for me, so please assist. First you vote for the party (check besides the symbol) then the number of the candidates you support. Last time, I only remembered one number. I got flummoxed and just made up the rest. That was dumb.
The trouble is that the names and numbers are listed outside the booth only. It’s like using an IP address to find Google and means that candidates devote 90% of their time to just getting people to remember a number. If I remember correctly, the ballot has a table of numbers and you X off the one (ones) you want.
With this election, you seem to get three choices, and I’ve heard that you can vote for the same candidate three times (hence all the XXX advertising). I don’t quite get this. I’ve heard people say that you can thus get three votes, but I think this could also mean you vote for one and one only. Any clarity from the crowd?
I only know one number that I’m voting for, so I’ll try to figure it out in the booth. If you’re registered in Colombo, Mount, Kandy, etc, I hope you’ll make it out to vote tomorrow. Voting starts at 7 am and ends at 4 pm. Also, all the booze shops are closed, so if that’s important to you, stock up today.