Nearly one million poll cards were left undelivered in post offices over the weekend as the deadline for the delivery ended, officials said yesterday.
The Northern Province had the largest number of undelivered poll cards with more than 300,000 still stacked up in post offices, they said.
Deputy Post Master General V. Kumaraguruge who is in charge of the north said yesterday that of a total of 876,633 poll cards, 566,857 had been delivered in the districts of Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna by Thursday.
“Initially, there was a delay of about one week in receiving poll cards and we started delivery only on January 13. While it was in progress, we came to understand that it is not possible to meet the deadline of January 18. Therefore, we obtained special permission from the Elections Commissioner to extend the deadline up to January 23,” he explained.
Mr. Kumaraguruge said it had taken time to deliver poll cards to displaced people who were not living in their original houses but were in other areas.
Only 20 percent of the poll cards had been delivered to people who had been resettled in the districts of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi, he said.
“We opened special counters in post offices for those who did not receive their poll cards so that they could collect their cards.
We also requested the Commissioner of Elections to give publicity asking the people to collect their undelivered cards from the Vavuniya Post Office,” he said.
Mr. Kumaraguruge said people were coming to the special counter in Vavuniya to collect the cards.He said they had been instructed by the Elections Commissioner to keep the undelivered poll cards in the posts offices for the people to collect them.
Meanwhile, Post Master General M.K.B Dissanayake said that of the 13,687,388 cards to be distributed islandwide, 12,742,195 had been delivered to the voters. “People can obtain the undelivered poll cards from post offices till the day of the elections by presenting their national identity cards,” the PMG said.
Elections officials said the poll card was not necessary but would be helpful in establishing the identity the voter at the polling booth.