To prevent speculation and misinformation before election results are announced on Sep 11, the Elections Department (ELD) said it will be conducting sample counts after voting ends and releasing the results to the public. This will be done at the start of the counting process at each of the 163 counting centres islandwide, once voting ends at 8pm. A total of 100 ballot papers from each polling station will be randomly picked by a counting assistant in the presence of candidates and their counting agents. The votes will be added up, and weightage given, to account for the difference in the number of votes cast at each polling station. The Assistant Returning Officer will then record the votes. The sample count for each constituency will be broadcast and published on the ELD website, while counting continues.
The sample count helps officials check against election results, the ELD said. The numbers are also said to be fairly indicative of the possible outcome for a constituency, although ELD has advised the public to wait for the announcement of the election results by the Returning Officer.
This will be the first time the sample count is released to the public. The process was carried out in previous elections, and was first made known to candidates and polling agents during the 2011 Presidential Elections.