Wednesday, February 1, 2012

EC to drop 42,025 doubtful names from electoral rolls

The Election Commission (EC) is to drop 42,025 doubtful names from the electoral rolls after verifying only 26 active voters during a two-month display of 42,051 names which ended today, EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said today.
He said only 50 people or next-of-kin came forward during the period to verify the status of as many names, and 24 of the names were of inactive voters.

There were responses for the names of 27 people (10 of whom are active voters) in Kelantan, 13 (10) in Terengganu, four (three) in Pahang, three (one) in Kedah, one inactive voter in Negri Sembilan and an active voter each in Perlis and Selangor, he said.

“We provided a long period, of two months, at the request of the parliamentary select committee on electoral reform although the display is usually for a month and should have ended on Dec 31,” he told reporters after launching a briefing for returning officers and assistant returning officers on the next general election in George Town.

Abdul Aziz said the number of registered voters nationwide in the third quarter of last year was 12,400,437.

Those aged 21 and above number 16,131,571, meaning 3,731,134 or 23 percent of the eligible people have not yet registered as voters, he said.

Going by racial breakdown, Malays who have attained the age of 21 are the most number of people who have yet to register as voters, he added.

Abdul Aziz advised voters who have shifted to a new address to update their records with the National Registration Department and then contact the EC to avoid getting confused over their polling centre.

He said the number of voters rose by about 300,000 every quarter and, if the 13th general election is called in June, the updated electoral rolls for the first quarter of this year will be used.

‘Wisma Putra not prepared to conduct polling overseas’

On suggestions that Malaysians living abroad be allowed to vote, he said Wisma Putra had stated that it was not prepared to conduct polling overseas.

“This is because the number of Malaysians abroad is large and they are living in many places. Furthermore, the EC will also discuss on the definition of a Malaysian and come up with guidelines,” he said.

On calls by the Penang government for the EC to conduct local government elections in the state, Abdul Aziz said he had written to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng saying that the EC did not have the authority to conduct the elections following the repeal of the pertinent laws.

Nevertheless, the state government is free to conduct the local government elections without the participation of the EC as was done in the case of election of village chiefs by a state government, he added.


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