Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake on Monday (13) agreed that any official document such as a passport, driving licence or a photograph attested by the Grama Niladhari/Divisional Secretary could be subsitituted for the NIC at the Local Government Elections.
The decision was made after discussions with the secretaries of the political parties on his earlier ruling that the NIC was mandatory at the forthcoming Local Government Elections. The problem of the Department for Registration of Persons not being able to issue NICs to about 25 percent of the voters who will exercise their franchise on March 30 was considered
It was the Parliamentary Select Committee for Electoral Reforms that recommended the NIC being made mandatory for voters at elections to prevent impersonation but even after two years of the relevant Ministry telling Parliament that a special scheme to ensure the issue of NIC to all adult citizens within a year has been started by the department, it is now learnt that almost 25 percent of the voters were still without NICs especially in difficult areas
New machinery was brought to the Department of Registration of Persons and a new system of issuing identity cards was introduced with administrative changes made in the department but still the target of issuing NIC to all citizens has not been reached official sources confirmed yesterday (13)
The the Commissioner of Elections said categorically that the the NIC cannot be made mandatory in view of a large percentage put at 10 ? 25 percent of the voters still have no NICs.