Online Electoral Roll

Overseas Malaysians are  reminded that it is normal for your voting information to show your Malaysian polling centre and saluran even if you have voted by post. This is because the hard copy electoral roll has already been finalised and given to the candidates on Nomination Day. Postal voters who are issued ballots (after Nomination Day) are crossed off the hard copy electoral rolls and cannot vote in person.

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The EC Chairman and Deputy Chairman Should Not Show Off Their Ignorance of Their Own Election Regulations by Blindly Defending the Indefensible

The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Election Commission (EC), Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, have said that EC officers were following procedures when they noted down the serial numbers of ballot papers issued to each postal voter on the EC’s list of postal voters (Malaysiakini, “EC vouches for confidentiality in postal voting“, 26 April 2013).

They further stated that it was normal for serial numbers to be noted on the Declaration of Identity (Form 2) that accompanies postal ballots.

While it is true that serial numbers of ballot papers are recorded on the Envelope A that encloses the postal ballot as well as on the Declaration of Identity (Form 2) that accompanies it, the serial numbers of the ballots should not be recorded anywhere else.

The serial number that is printed on each Form 2 is compared with the serial number on the Envelope A at the time the postal ballot is opened. If the serial numbers concur, the Form 2 with the voter’s name is then sealed up and signed across the seal by the candidates’ agents before the Envelopes A containing the ballot papers are opened. In this way, voter secrecy is preserved because when the Envelopes A are opened, there is no way to match the ballot papers to the names on the Form 2 without breaking the seal on the packet containing the Forms 2. It is therefore critical that no other record of the serial numbers of the ballot papers issued to individual postal voters exists which can be used to breach electoral secrecy.

This is in fact specifically provided for in sub-regulation 7(2) of the Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003 (“2003 Regulations”) provides that:

“A list shall be made of the persons to whom postal ballot papers have been sent but without showing the particular ballot paper issued.”

Writing the serial number of the ballot paper issued directly contravenes sub-regulation 7(2) of the 2003 Regulations.

MyOverseasVote finds it appalling that the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the EC are so ignorant of their own regulations, and recommends that they should in future investigate and consult with their own legal team before blindly defending their officers’ mistakes and misfeasances.

To mitigate the risk of breach the 2003 Regulations, we call upon election agents to ensure that any such lists of postal voters have been sealed up and signed across the seal by the agents in accordance with regulation 11 of the 2003 Regulations. If this has not been done, they should contact their returning officers to ensure that it is done immediately. They should then again ask to inspect the sealed packets when postal ballots are opened on 5 May.

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UPDATE: Overseas Postal Voting Locations

Malaysians who have applied for postal votes should note that these have now been issued by most constituency returning officers and are now being sent by the EC to embassies, consulates and high commissions overseas.

Please check for your voting location and voting times on 28 April.

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UPDATE: Overseas Malaysians will vote on 28 April 2013

PUTRAJAYA: All Malaysian citizens living abroad who have registered as postal voters will cast their votes at Malaysian missions overseas on April 28.

This also includes absentee voters.

Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria said the EC had set April 28, from 9am to 8pm, for the submission and acceptance of Priority Envelopes containing the postal ballots in London, United Kingdom, and Melbourne, Australia.

He said the same date applied to other Malaysian missions but the period would be shorter, from 9am to 6pm.

“The Malaysian missions in London and Melbourne have an extension of two hours because they have postal voters exceeding 1,000 people,” he said in a statement, here, on Monday.

He said all the registered voters must be present at the Malaysian missions and furnish their identity cards or international passports to the EC personnel on duty.

He stressed that the Priority Envelope would not be given to those who did not produce their identification documents and representatives or relatives would not be allowed to collect the envelope on behalf of other individuals.

After marking, the ballot-papers must be put inside the EC’s Special Sacks provided at the Malaysian missions abroad.

“The envelopes containing the postal ballot papers in the EC’s Special Sacks will be taken back to Malaysia on the same day to be handed to the returning officers of the respective election divisions,” he said.

However, Kamaruddin said, those who took the Priority Envelopes after the submission day or returned them after the stipulated date and time would have to personally handle the sending of the envelopes to the returning officers of the respective election divisions at their own expense.

To date, all 1B forms had been sent to the offices of the returning officers of the respective election divisions (Parliament) for their approval, he added.

“Malaysian residents abroad are expected to be able to check on the outcome of their requests to vote via post and information related to the date, time and address of the Malaysian missions abroad at the EC website at starting April 19, 2013,” he said. – Bernama

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UPDATE: Latest information on overseas postal voting

The EC has provided a guide on how postal voting will be carried out, and on how postal votes will be counted.

At present, we understand that applications for postal votes have been filtered by the EC and any persons not qualified to vote by post have already been informed. The applications have been sent to the returning officers of each constituency for formal approval before the EC notifies the voters shortly before Nomination Day (20 April). Lists of postal voters will be provided to the candidates on Nomination Day.

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FLASH: Nominations 20 April, Polling 5 May

The EC has announced that Nomination Day will be on 20 April 2013, whereas Polling Day will be on 5 May 2013.

We understand that postal voters will be notified on Nomination Day that their applications have been approved. If you have not yet been informed that your application is rejected, it is likely that your application will be approved on 20 April 2013.

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The EC Should Not Be Surprised by Low Overseas Voter Numbers When It Has Deliberately Restricted the Number of Eligible Voters

The Election Commission (EC) should not be surprised that only 6,298 overseas Malaysians have registered to be postal voters when it has deliberately acted to restrict the number of eligible postal voters.

It has done this by:

1) not announcing the arrangements for overseas postal voting until after the Q4 2012 voter registration had ended. This ensured that those who had not yet registered could not get onto the electoral roll until May-June 2013, after GE13, and could therefore not register as postal voters for this election.

2) preventing Malaysians in Singapore, Brunei, Kalimantan and southern Thailand from registering. This excluded over 400,000 Malaysians living in Singapore, or approximately 40% of overseas Malaysians.

3) requiring overseas Malaysians to have returned to Malaysia for 30 days over the preceding 5 years.

4) closing the overseas postal voter registration before the date of the general election has been announced. This means that overseas Malaysians cannot plan whether to return to Malaysia or to vote by post.

Up to today, Malaysians who registered as overseas postal voters in January have still not received any reply telling them whether their applications have been approved or not. This is causing great confusion and uncertainty among overseas Malaysians, who need to plan their return trips to Malaysia if their applications are rejected.

MyOverseasVote calls upon the EC immediately to ensure that overseas Malaysians who have submitted their applications are told whether their applications have been successful or not, instead of complaining that the numbers are small.

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