EC announces minor changes to voting process

July 11, 2012

PUTRAJAYA, July 11 — There will be minor changes to the voting process for the next general election to ensure more transparent polls based on recommendations made by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform.

Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof said the placement of the voting booth would be different to enable representatives of political parties to have a better view of the voter and the voting process.

He said three poll clerks would be stationed in the polling room where the first clerk would check the voter’s name, face and finger (to see whether it has been marked with indelible ink), and read aloud the page number, serial number, identity card number and the name of the voter to enable representatives of political parties to countercheck them on the electoral roll.

The second clerk will put the indelible ink on the voter’s left forefinger while the third clerk will stamp the ballot paper and hand over the counterfoil to the voter, he said at a media briefing here today.

Abdul Aziz said the serial number and the stamp on the ballot paper would be unique and different from one polling stream to another. Ballot papers would have security features that could only be seen under ultraviolet radiation to determine whether they were fake or if additional ballot papers had been brought in.

(Admin: security features are an unnecessary expense. Just rotate the screen to allow the voter to be observed continuously will be sufficient.)

Assuring voters that every vote is secret, he said although the ballot paper would have a serial number, it could not be traced as the serial number on the electoral roll would no longer be recorded at the bottom of the counterfoil.

“Before 2004, the clerk, who issued the ballot paper, was required by law to write down the serial number from the electoral roll on the counterfoil with the aim of tracing who voters voted for in the event of a recount if there was such a petition.

“But this has been amended and the serial number will not be recorded on the counterfoil. So we cannot trace who took the counterfoil, and the poll clerk who issues the ballot paper is not allowed to carry any writing utensil,” he said.

(Admin: Since EC is so concerned about secrecy, they should have no objections to randomization of the ballot paper issue.)

For a physically challenged person, Abdul Aziz said he may be assisted by a friend or a trusted person aged 21 years and above, who is a Malaysian citizen, unlike before when he could bring along a relative only.

On the use of indelible ink, he hoped it would not be disputed as it had been proven impermeable to water and would remain on the skin of the finger and nail; was not harmful to health; and ruled halal and permissible by National Fatwa Council.

He said different colours would be used for early voting and normal voting processes, where the ink used for early voting would last longer. — Bernama
(Admin: The concern is illegal immigrants becoming voters. If the indelible ink has too short a shelf-life, the ink will disappear before the illegal turns up for work after voting.)