By Nirmala Kannangara
The number of registered voters in Jaffna and Killinochchi districts had drastically declined in 2010 from the 2009 voter register statistics, according to the Elections Department figures.
According to the statistics, there had been 696,587 registered voters in Jaffna and Killinochchi districts (excluding the Jaffna Municipal Council voters) in 2009 but it had declined to 435,557 in 2010.
“Since 1988 up to 1998 no enumerations have been done due to the civil war. Once Jaffna in 1997 was rid of the LTTE after Operation Riviresa, the Elections Department did a survey and could only include the new names to the 1988 voter register but none of the names in the existing list were omitted. However once the civil administration was established after the end of the war, a new survey was carried out and the names of those who are living in the province remained in the list in the while the names of those who have moved away had been deleted. That was the reason for the sharp decline in 2010,” Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya told The Sunday Leader.
When asked whether the internally displaced people (IDP) would be eligible to vote at the forthcoming election, Deshapriya said that there are no provisions to place polling centers for the IDPs in local government elections.
“Even the names of the resettled would have been included in the voter registry if they were resettled in the province before the enumeration was done in June 2010,” he said.