DAP campaigners have found that the Election Commission (EC) officials in charge of the Pulai parliamentary constituency have recorded the serial numbers of postal ballots before posting them to the voters, raising the fear that those ballots can be traced easily.

NONEAccording to DAP Pengkalan Rinting state seat candidate Cheo Yee How (left) and his candidate’s representative Tah Moon Hui, they saw the incident yesterday during their visit to the EC operations centre in Johor Bahru to examine the postal ballots before they were posted.

They furnished Malaysiakini with a photograph taken discreetly at the operation centre, showing the six-digit serial numbers of both the parliamentary and state ballots of each postal voter, had been jotted down next to the voter’s name on the postal voter list.

Malaysiakini has also confirmed with several journalists who have applied as postal voters that each of their ballots is printed with a six-digit serial number.

“I suspect these serial numbers jotted down by the EC can be used to trace the ballots cast. This is against the principle that every vote should be kept secret,” said Cheo when contacted byMalaysiakini today.

In the Tanjong Piai parliamentary constituency, DAP candidate Mahdzir Ibrahim also received a complaint from a low-ranking EC officer who had applied to become a postal voter.

He said the four-digit number printed on the envelope, which will be used to post the ballot back to the EC, is the same as the serial number printed on the electoral roll.

A check by Mahdzir found that what he claimed is true, meaning that one can trace the identity of the voter according to the serial number on the envelope.

“The voter told me his ballot will be traced, hence he will cast a spoilt vote,” Mahdzir told Malaysiakini.

NONECheo and his campaign team also detected the name of another postal voter who appears in both the list of the ‘EC officers’ and list of ‘media practitioners’.

“Both entries have the same name and MyKad number but appear in different polling districts. I’m worried that this may lead to electoral irregularities,” said the 29-year-old candidate.

Both the EC staff and journalists who cannot vote on polling day are allowed to vote via post in this general election.

Cheo immediately complained to an EC official after he discovered the problem, and the official replied that they will send out only one of the two ballots to that voter.

He urged all candidates to scrutinise the list of postal voters in their constituencies.

‘It could be a technical mistake’

According to Sin Chew Daily, Johor EC director Rokiah Hanum Ibrahim said the EC computer system shows that the name only appears in the list of ‘EC officers’.

The system also showed that the name belonged to a female voter, not a male voter as alleged by Cheo, she said.

Rokiah added that it could be a technical mistake to have the same name in two different lists.

“This mistake is not done intentionally. We will investigate to find out what is the real problem,” she was quoted as saying.

However, the Chinese daily did not report whether Rokiah has explained the issue of jotting down the serial number of postal ballots.

~ Malaysiakini