Home Civil Society Voices 2017 Civil Society Voices Respect the integrity of the electoral roll and the right to vote

Respect the integrity of the electoral roll and the right to vote

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Bersih 2.0 rejects the excuse given by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Razali Ibrahim when he attributes discrepancies in the electoral roll to ‘human error’ in his speech on 15 November 2017.

Malaysians seek more from our ministers than the condoning of mediocrity, especially over the Electoral Commission’s failure to act or respond to errors and discrepancies in the electoral roll.

Bersih finds Razali’s response to the question on methods to prevent ‘human errors’ particularly alarming.

“Why should the people celebrate the EC for doing what it is mandated to do – to register new voters and maintain the electoral roll? If the voters are registered wrongly, it is only right that the EC should seek to correct the mistake rather than wait for someone to lodge a complaint. The EC should uphold the right to vote and not stand in the way of that right,” said Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah.

At present, affected voters will need to go to the nearest office and make the application to change their addresses. It will take three to six months before these changes will be reflected in the electoral roll. This will impede the affected voter’s right to vote in the upcoming elections.

Furthermore, under section 9A of the Elections Act, no citizen – except for the affected voter – can challenge the electoral roll once it has been certified or re-certified by notification in the Federal Gazette. As such, the Electoral Commission must take immediate and strict steps to monitor and ensure that there are no discrepancies in the supplementary electoral roll.

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Member of Parliaments are elected representatives of the people and should, therefore, pay the greatest attention to detail, as their policies and decisions would have an impact on the lives of 31m Malaysians. Parliamentarians should not be doling out excuses such as “human error” on behalf of the commission without proper discussion and an inquiry into the matter, as this will have an impact on the legitimacy of the general elections.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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