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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Tsunami dead to get voter cards
Ballot boxes in Sri Lanka
The presidential election is scheduled for 17 November
Sri Lanka is to send out voting cards for those people believed to have died in December's tsunami because it cannot be sure who survived.

The country is holding its presidential election on 17 November.

The election commission fears electoral fraud by people impersonating the dead, so the cards will be specially marked to show the voter is believed dead.

Those that have survived will have to prove their identity. More than 30,000 died in the tsunami in Sri Lanka.

Another 500,000 were made homeless.

Special booths

The electoral register was finished before the tsunami struck on 26 December.

Local authorities have been trying to identify those who died but the large numbers have made it a difficult task.

The Election Commission fears it might disenfranchise voters by failing to send them cards.

Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said: "Even if any other voter gets a polling card indicating that the person is deceased, that person can go to the polling station, establish his or her identity and vote.

"If we have any doubts, we will hand over the person to the police for further investigations."

Special voting booths will be established to cater for those displaced by the disaster.

About 13.3m people are eligible to vote on 17 November in an election seen as a face off between ruling party candidate and prime minister, Mahinda Rajapakse, and main opposition leader, former premier Ranil Wickramasinghe.


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