They can give the media advance voting but cannot give it to the polling agents, who have a critical role during elections.

EC aims to make postal voting for media transparent

May 20, 2012

Postal voting will not be extended to all media personnel, said Wan Ahmad. — File pic

PUTRAJAYA, May 20 — The Election Commission (EC) will ensure that the postal voting process for media personnel during 13th general election is transparent to avoid negative perception and complaints from various parties.
Deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said EC will avoid third parties and proposed that media personnel take ballot papers from the returning officers (RO) office where they are registered and vote.

“Media personnel can use the 10 day campaign to return to their respective constituencies to collect them as the campaign period is quite long,” he told Bernama today. (Admin: Is this a slip of the tonque?)

Postal voting for media personnel are among 22 recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform, which the EC agreed to implement.

Facilities for postal voting are in accordance with sub-regulation 3 (1) (f) Election Regulations (Postal Voting) 2003.

Wan Ahmad said the EC is prepared to give exemption to media personnel who are assigned too far from their registered areas such as Sabah and Sarawak.

“Eligible media personnel must apply to become postal voters from their respective ROs and the applications must be supported by their employers.

“The form can be downloaded from the EC official website after an announcement, including the submission deadline,” he said adding that not all media personnel are entitled to become postal voters.

Among information that must be furnished is their voting registered address and place they are assigned to during general election.

“When the application as postal vote has been approved, the name of the media personnel will be removed from the standard electoral roll.”

He urged employers to finalise the assignment location as changes at the last minute will not be entertained once the EC has approved application as postal voters.

On the rationale for media personnel to return to their areas to vote, Wan Ahmad said the EC did not want it politicised by sending ballot papers to their assignment locations.

“EC does not want the ballot papers to get lost as our practice is to send them to the office of ROs where the voters are registered.

“If you want, the RO office can send ballot papers to the RO office where media personnel are located but this will lead to speculation and wild accusations against the EC.”

He said, however, that these were all still proposals and the EC is willing to receive feedback to ensure smooth implementation of postal voting for media personnel for the benefit of all parties. — Bernama