Presidential Election: Obtaining 50+1% and counting of 2nd preference
(FASTNEWS | COLOMBO) – According to the Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya, the winner of the forthcoming Presidential Election scheduled to be held on 16 November, must receive more than half of the valid votes cast, that is, 50+1 per cent. If a candidate receives more than half of the valid votes in the first round of counting, he or she will be declared the winner.
In the event no candidate has received this number, the two candidates with the highest number of votes are chosen for a second round of counting, and the rest of the candidates are eliminated from the contest, and check whether the voters of the eliminated candidates have indicated their second or third preference on the ballot paper.
If the voters of eliminated candidates have indicated their second or third preference in favour of anyone of the two main candidates, their second preference will be added to or transferred between the two remaining candidates, treating it as a vote cast for that candidate. However, in that case, their third preference is ignored even if it is marked for another candidate because his or her second preference has already been counted as a vote cast for one of the two main candidates.
Also, the second or third preferential vote is counted, only if it is marked in favour of the two main candidates. The second or third preferences marked for other candidates except the two main candidates have no real value here. Officially, there are no two types of candidates as main candidates and other candidates, in an election. All are considered equal candidates; hence, it may be useful that the voters cast their vote ranking the candidates in order of preference, at their discretion.
The second or third preferences, if marked in favour of anyone of the main candidates, by the voters of the other candidates eliminated from the contest, will be distributed among the two main candidates, based on their first preference, and the candidate that receives more than half of the ballots is declared the winner. Accordingly, the candidate who has scored more than 50 per cent of the valid votes cast for the two main candidates, as the winner.