True or false? “If ballot papers are lost or destroyed before they are counted, no action will be taken.”

Answer: False.


Elector at a Ballot Box

It is false that no action will be taken if ballot papers are lost or destroyed.

 

If ballot papers go missing or are destroyed, there are processes to handle such contingencies spelt out in the law, to maintain integrity of election processes.

 

What happens if ballot papers are lost or destroyed before they are counted?

Fresh polls will be conducted if the number of votes affects the election results. All voters assigned to the affected polling station will have to re-cast their votes.

 

How do we know whether the affected votes might affect the election results?

This is when the sum of the total number of affected voters and the total number of overseas voters from the affected electoral division is equal or more than the difference between the votes already counted for the top two candidates.

 

Is this procedure something new?

No – this contingency procedure has been in place for Presidential elections.

 

What is new is a proposal to apply these contingency procedures to Parliamentary elections as well. This is one of the amendments proposed in Parliament (on 10 September 2018) to improve the administration of elections under the Parliamentary Elections Act.

 

Has a ballot box ever been lost or destroyed?

There was no instance at past several elections of lost or damaged ballot boxes prior to them being counted.  Consequently, there was no instance of re-polling as a result of loss or destruction of ballot boxes.


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