The first  phase of parliamentary election got underway today with the commencement of postal  voting which will see around 700,00 state sector employees casting their votes.

A total of 753,037  had applied for postal voting  of which 705,085 were accepted while 47,952 were rejected, the Election Commission  said.

The application had been  rejected for various reasons including inaccuracies in filing forms, inadequate information etc.

Postal voting for staff of offices of the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) who are assigned the task of  supervising compliance with health guidelines  on COVID-19  at work stations where postal voting will take place  from Tuesday to Friday (June 14-16),   will  cast their  votes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

Marking of postal votes for other state sector employees will take place over the next four days.

Those who fail to mark their postal voting on the assigned  days due to unavoidable circumstances  can do so  on 20 and 21 July at the Election office of the district where the certifying officer of their application is located.

The EC emphasized that postal voting must be  conducted in keeping with the COVID-19 guidelines  such as social distancing , wearing face masks  and hand sanitization  while voters were also encouraged to bring a black or blue pen to mark the ballot paper.

Those who are unable to cast their postal vote on these dates can do so on July 20 and 21 at the district election offices in the district where their workplace is situated.

State officers who would be engaged in election duties, public officials engaged in essential services and personnel of the armed forces, police and Civil Defence Force are entitled to postal voting.