Voting window closes down for 2018 presidential elections

The official window for casting vote on 2018 presidential elections closed down at 19:00hrs on Sunday evening.

The turn-out for this year's elections have been exceptional with hundreds upon thousands of Maldivians lining up in queues hours ahead of the polls window opening earlier on Sunday morning.

Though voting closed at 19:00hrs, voters present at the ballot stations before deadline will be granted the chance to cast their votes.

Reports expect ballots to be counted after 30 minutes; giving the opportunity for those present in queues at the moment to proceed with their voting.

Surprisingly the 2018 presidential elections proceeded without any major unrest or altercation among party supporters or the public.

Elections observers have also attested on the peaceful proceedings of the presidential polls; with no reports of any serious or major commotion across Maldives.

However, the presidential polls did not proceed without its few slight 'hiccups' which had included complaints of voters over spending exhausting hours in line before they could cast vote.

Earlier on the day several issues were registered due to the computer tablets functioning at slow speed, which became the reason for voters' chagrin as it hindered the voting pace.

The elections commission found a fix to this by sticking to the conventional pen and paper tick-out of voters attending ballot stations.

Some complaints were addressed from ballot stations at Sri Lanka and Malaysia over lack of elections personnel present in said venues and the resulted slow pace of elections proceeding.

A few incidents did take place when voting proceeded which included a voter showing up Fuvahmulah Dhan'dimagu ward whose name was not reflected on the voters list.

Earlier a voter was detained by Maldives Police from Noonu atoll Maafaru; who was taking a picture of the ballot paper with his phone. The individual was however let go later after authorities could not find any substantial evidence from his electronic device that would corroborate his actions.

However, the individual was advised against violating elections guidelines and regulations.

Another incident from the same island was reported when a child reportedly was denying to produce the national identity card of the individual's mother over authority request.

Around 16:35hrs on Sunday afternoon it was reported that a slight issue at the ballot box number 5 of north-Machchangolhi constituency came to a hold and lasted an hour without voting.

The situation rose when the tally sheet at elections officials' hands mismatched the queue present at the venue for casting vote.

Meanwhile another minor issue rendered the north-Fuvahmulah constituency's ballot box number 1 idle after two individuals were halted from voting.

However, they carried with them letters with the seal of Maldives electoral watchdog; permitting them to cast vote on the designated ballot box.

Elections Commission's spokesperson Ahmed Akram had since noted that any individual whose name did not appear on voters list due to the commission's shortcomings were compensated via a permission letter handed to such voters to present while casting vote.

Although the official voting window was scheduled to close down at 16:00hrs on Sunday afternoon, the deadline was extended to 19:00hrs for voters' convenience as the turn-out was expected increase.

A total of 262,135 were confirmed as eligible voters for the presidential election of 2018 by Maldives electoral watchdog while a total of 472 ballot boxes were placed in various parts of the island nation and some abroad as well.