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Thread: Gazette: Impact of 3 new gazettes on 30th Apr 2012

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    Gazette: Impact of 3 new gazettes on 30th Apr 2012

    ADVANCE VOTING ENHANCES BN’S VICTORY

    The much awaited regulations that covers the procedures of advance voting was finally gazetted via the ELECTION (CONDUCT OF ELECTION) (AMENDMENT)(2) REGULATIONS 2012 which came into effect on 30 April 2012.

    This is the second amendment in 2012. The first amendment was gazetted in February 2012 and effective from 13 February 2012. The first amendment was mainly in relation to a complete replacement of Regulation 19 and the introduction of a new regulation 19A due to the use of indelible ink in the normal polling procedures. EC had previously stated that indelible ink would be used on advance voters but the first amendment was entirely referring to normal voters and the second amendment though were mainly on advance voting but failed to mention a single word on the polling procedures. Hence, there is uncertainty on the use indelible ink on advance voters. The second amendment introduced 3 new regulations to cover advance voting. 27A defines the persons required to vote as advance voters; 27B covers the safe custody the advance ballot box and 27C explains the counting of votes of advance voters.

    27A states that all arm forces and their spouses and so are all polices and their spouses but excluding RELA shall be required to vote as advance voters. Only a member of the arm forces and the police force who could not vote on the date fixed for advance voting can apply to vote through postal voting. The spouse of a police has finally been gazetted as an advance voter via 27A(1)(d).

    A point to note here is that EC had been registering the spouses of police forces as postal voters before they were legally considered as either postal or advance voters. The EC in the FAQ section of it’s website has clearly indicated that the spouse of a police is a postal voter long before 30 April 2012 contravening the laws in existence then. This is yet another piece of evidence that the EC has acted beyond the power conferred upon it when it is advantageous towards BN.

    When an act by the EC would put BN in a disadvantageous position, it will claim that it does not have the power to do so such as the removal of doubtful voters in the principal electoral roll when Regulation 25 of the Election (Registration of Electors) Regulations clearly confer upon the EC a discretionary power to remove anyone for any reason. It is believed that EC has been using Regulation 25 to remove non-BN supporters from the principal electoral all these years as there were just far too many complaints that electors’ names were deleted for no reason.

    27B explains the advance ballot box shall be in the safe custody of the returning officer or in accordance with the arrangement of the EC until the counting on polling day. 27C explains that all the procedures apply to the counting of normal votes shall apply to the counting of votes of advance voters.


    There is no new regulation similar to 27C that says that the normal voting procedures shall also apply to the voting procedures for advance voting. Without a specific new Regulation similar to 27C on voting procedures, it is uncertain whether the EC is managing the voting procedures inside an army camp or police quarters. The existing postal voting regulations also are silent as to who should manage the voting procedures inside an army camp or police quarters.

    However, the practice thus far is the arm forces and polices themselves are managing everything inside the army camps and the police quarters. Hence, many candidates or their agents who do not know that they need to apply for a special entry permit for his agents from the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Domestic Affairs in addition to the EC’s tags will not be able to enter the army camps or police quarters to monitor and observe the voting processes.

    Hence, many stories of votes rigging were told all these years due to no one were there in the camps or the quarters to observe and monitor the voting process. Hence, the strategies of the non-BN parties would be to reject as many ballot papers as possible during the opening of postal envelops stage.

    The 2010 Sibu by-election was a classic case where DAP won through the rejection of a big number of postal ballot papers in the opening of envelops stage. EC has now introduced advance voting to get rid of the use of envelops and declaration forms as required under postal voting.

    However, the voting procedures are left silent as in postal voting. Hence, EC is clearly assisting BN to completely remove the risk of any ballot papers being rejected before counting commences but still retaining the power to manage the advance voting procedures with the arm forces and the polices. By not clearing defining the voting procedures for advance voting in the army camps or police quarters, EC is clearly seen to have purposely designed it this way to allow votes ringing to perpetuate.

    Since there is no reference in the new 27A, 27B and 27C to the revised Regulation 19 and the new Regulation 19A on the normal voting procedures, indelible ink will not be mandatory to the advance voters before the issuance of ballot papers. Hence, 100% turn-out for advance voters could be achieved through personation.

    Finally, 27C explains the procedures of counting of votes by normal electors shall apply to the counting of votes by advance voters. But where the votes of advance voters will be counted and whether under the supervision of the presiding officer or the returning officer is not explicitly stated as for normal votes. In the case of normal votes, counting is in the polling station under the supervision of the presiding officer, and as for the postal votes, in the main tallying center under the supervision of the returning officer. As the place which the votes of advance voters is to be counted is not explicitly stated, the place of custody of the advance ballot box referred to in 27B is also not explicit.


    To sum it all, the above amendment regulations and the recently passed amendment bill on Election Offences Act has demonstrated that the EC has done nothing apart from allowing vote rigging to perpetuate.

    Steven Choong

    National Deputy Sec-Gen of PKR

    py

  2. #2
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    Advance voting will aid BN's victory, claims PKR



    While both Bersih and opposition parties welcome the introduction of advance voting, a PKR leader warns that the lack of clear procedures in implementation makes it vulnerable to vote rigging, thus favouring the BN.

    PKR deputy secretary-general Steven Choong, who specialises in polling agents training, pointed out that the two amendments to the Election (Conduct of Election) Regulations 1981 in February and April this year failed to address the integrity of the process of advance voting.



    http://malaysiakini.com/news/197029


    py

  3. #3
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    Gazette: Impact of 3 new gazettes on 30th Apr 2012

    This is an interim posting for initial study and discussion. It summarizes the key points of the 3 new gazettes passed on 30th Apr 2012 by the EC.

    Types of Voters other than ordinary voters:
    Description Advance Voter Postal Voter Temporary Postal Voter
    Armed Forces COE R27A (1)(a) PV R3(2) Can opt
    Armed Forces spouse COE R27A (1)(b)
    Police COE R27A (1)(c) PV R3(2) Can opt
    Police spouse COE R27A (1)(d)
    Govt servants overseas & spouse PV R3(1)9a)
    Full-time overseas student & spouse PV R3(1)9a)
    EC Members & staff PV R3(2)


    4 pua_20120424_Peraturan2 Pilihan Raya (Pendaftaran Pemilih)(Pindaan)_P.U. (A) 106

    Gazette on Registration of Electors
    R12. An applicant is not issued with an acknowledgement slip as subregulation (3) is deleted..
    R14: 7 day objection period is removed. Not clear on what is the new period.
    R21A. New electors who are not objected to can be certified, unlike previously where the whole constituency’s certification is suspended pending resolution of all objections.
    5 pua_20120427_P.U.(A) 113- CONDUCT REGNS-27 4 2012
    Conduct of Elections

    Regulation 2:
    “absent voter” has the same meaning assigned to it in the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 [IP.U.(A) 293/2002];
    “advance voter” means any person who is required to vote in advance under regulation 27A;
    “advance voting”, in relation to an election, means a poll that will be taken on a date and time earlier than a polling day;

    Regulation 3:
    (1) Minimum campaign period increased from seven to eleven days.
    (1A) For the purpose of an advance voting, the dates or dates on which the advance voting will be taken in the event of a contest (referred to in these Regulations as the “advance polling day”) shall be fixed not less than seven days after the day of nomination and not less than three days from the date or dates of the polling day as referred to in subregulation (1) and such dates or dates of the advance voting shall be specified in the notice referred to in subregulation (1).

    ADVANCE VOTING
    Persons required to vote as advance voter

    27A. (1) Any person who has registered as a Parliamentary or State elector under the Elections (registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 and is –
    (a) a person referred to in paragraph (a) in the definition of “absent voter” in regulation 2 of the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002;
    (b) a person referred to in paragraph (b) in the definition of “absent voter” in regulation 2 of the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002;
    (c) a member of any police force established by any written law in force in Malaysia, other than a member of the Police Volunteer Reserve Force; or
    (d) the spouse of a serving member of the General Operation Force,

    shall vote as an advance voter at an election in accordance with the procedure of voting as provided in these Regulations.

    (2) A person referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) and (c) who is unable to vote on the advance polling day may apply to vote as a postal voter in accordance with the Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003.
    (3) A person referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) and (c) whole application to vote as a postal voter has been approved in accordance with the Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003 is not entitled to vote in person on the advance polling day.

    Safe custody of ballot box
    27B. The ballot box containing the advance ballot papers on the conclusion of the advance voting shall be kept in the safe custody of the returning officer of the constituency in which the election is contested or in accordance with the arrangements approved by the Election Commission until the counting of votes of advance voters on polling day.

    Counting of votes of advance voters
    27C All provisions relating to the counting of votes in these Regulations except regulation 25C shall apply to the counting of votes of advance voters.
    (Remarks: R25C refer to counting for postal voters. This means that advance voting is similar to normal voting procedure. No envelopes, witnesses, etc.)
    6 pua_20120427_P.U. (A) 114- PENGUNDIAN POS) (PINDAAN) 2012-27 4 2012

    POSTAL VOTERS
    Persons entitled to vote as postal voters

    3. (1) Any person who has registered as a Parliamentary or State elector under the
    Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002, and is –
    (a) a person referred to in paragraphs (c), (d), (e) and (f) in the definition of “absent voter” in regulation 2 of the Elections (Registration of Electors) 2002;
    (b) a person referred to in paragraphs 27A(1)(a) and (c) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) 1981 [P.U.(A) 386/1981] who is unable to vote on the advance polling day;
    (c) a person certified by the Election Commission to be an election officer and liable for duties on polling day;
    (d) a member of the Election Commission appointed under Article 114 of the Federal Constitution; or
    (e) a member of any category of persons designated as postal voters by the Election Commission from time to time by notification in the Gazette,

    shall, on receipt of a postal ballot paper, be entitled to vote as a postal voter at an election in accordance with these Regulations.”; and

    (2) A person referred to in
    (a) paragraph (1)(b) who is unable to vote on the advance polling day and intends to vote by post; and
    (b) paragraphs (1) (c), (d) and (e) who intends to vote by post,
    shall apply to do so by using Form 1 in the Schedule.
    py

  4. #4
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    Loopholes still exist in new advance voting system


    http://malaysiakini.com/news/198301

    Facing tremendous pressure from civil society, the Election Commission (EC) has introduced a series of electoral reforms, including the creation of a new category of advance voters to minimise the number of postal voters.

    However, a closer scrutiny reveals the new system still contains weaknesses that may compromise the integrity of a clean and free election.

    Advance voting was created to address allegations that postal votes of military and police personnel could be easily rigged as their voting process were conducted in police quarters and military camps where monitoring by polling agents was limited and the voters faced psychological barrier in voting for non-ruling parties.

    There were 242,294 postal voters comprising 94,613 police and 147,681 armed forces personnel, as of fourth quarter of 2011.

    Under the new amendment to the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981, which was enforced on April 30, members of the armed forces and police force, and some of their spouses, can cast their votes before the actual polling day, allowing them to carry out their duties as usual.

    All postal voters registered previously will become advance voters by default.

    Only security personnel who are unable to vote before the polling day and on the actual polling day, especially those stationed at the borders, can apply to cast their votes by post (see the table below for criteria of both categories).

    Before the amendment was introduced, one of the key issues of contention was the inclusion of the spouses of police personnel as postal voters.

    Booklet to refute allegations

    The issue is explained by the EC in its latest publication entitled ‘The Truth Behind the Accusations and Lies Towards the Election Commission’ a booklet to refute the various allegations by its critics.
    The booklet states that “according to the Elections Regulations (Postal Voting) Act 2003, members of the Police General Operations Force (GOF) and their spouses are eligible to vote by post. This is clearly stated under sub regulation 3(1)(c) of the above regulation”.

    The sub regulation 3(1)(c) referred to by the booklet was the existing regulation before the amendment.


    However, Malaynsiakini found that it does not mention anything about members of the GOF and their spouses.

    The section reads “a member of any police force established by any written law in force in Malaysia, other than a member of the Police Volunteer Reserve Force” is qualified to apply as postal voter.

    When contacted by Malaysiakini, a EC spokeperson admitted that it was a mistake, and the correct section should be 3(1)(f) which reads “a member of any category of persons designated as postal voters by the EC from time to time by notification in the Gazette”.

    In other words, spouses of GOF members were designated by the EC as postal voters.

    The spokeperson further explained that members of GOF, part of the police force, are required to be on duty in remote areas including borders and interior areas, hence they and their spouses are eligible to vote by post.

    But political researcher Ong Kian Ming commented that section 3(1)(f) is open to abuse because it gives power to the EC to designate any category of voters as postal voters.

    “The EC used this clause to designate spouses of police personnel who are in the GOF as postal voters even though spouses of the regular police force are not eligible to be postal voters.

    “It could easily use this regulation to designate other groups e.g. employees of the post office for example, to be postal voters, depending on the need as seen by the EC.

    “I see very little reason why spouses of the GOF also have to be classified as postal voters since many of them live in police barracks and training centres which are in the urban areas.

    No special identity code

    “They could easily vote as regular voters in the nearby polling stations in these urban areas. The police training centre in Cheras, which is just off the Cheras-Kajang highway is one such example,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted.

    Under the new amendment, the spouses of GOF members are only eligible as advance voters but not postal voters.

    Their status as advance voters has also been enhanced because it is not designated by the EC as done previously, but clearly stipulated in section 27A(1)(d) of the amended Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981.

    However, the amendment has still failed to plug all the loopholes. Among others, there is no special identity code in the electoral roll to identify members of GOF.

    “It makes it very difficult for a politician to ascertain that a postal voter is actually a spouse of a GOF member and therefore eligible to be registered as a postal voter.

    “This problem of identification is made worse by the fact that a politician cannot go to these places to check to see if this voter is actually living there.

    “The only thing a politician can do is to check if a particular locality is indeed the home base of a GOF force, for example by looking at the locality name which sometimes contain the words PGA or Pasukan Gerakan Am,” Ong commented.

    The EC spokesperson also confirmed to Malaysiakini that there is no way to identify GOF members in the electoral roll.

    He said the latest electoral roll contains 4,475 spouses of GOF members who will vote as advance voters in the next general election.
    py

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