Blogger: Am I a phantom voter?

Sep 22, 07

Was former newspaper editor and now blogger Ahirudin Attan a phantom voter in Gopeng, Perak, during the last two general elections?
The question arose after Ahirudin discovered on the Election Commission (EC) website that he was a voter there, despite him never registering as a voter.

“Someone must have done it for me. Who?” wrote Ahirudin in his weblog Rocky’s Bru on Thursday.
According to the EC website, Ahirudin’s polling district was in Rapat Setia under the Simpang Pulai state constituency – two areas where the Malacca-born and currently Selangor-based blogger has never been to before.
“Is someone walking around with my (identifications)? My MyKad? Am I really who I think I am? Was I a phantom voter in the last general election?” added Ahirudin.
A genuine mistake?
Disturbed by his discovery, Ahirudin paid a visit to the EC headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday seeking explanations.
A EC officer informed Ahirudin that he was registered as a voter in 1999, possibly by political parties who were allowed to help sign up voters before July 2002.
However, he couldn’t find out the details of the political party that purportedly signed him up and whether he had actually voted in the 1999 and 2004 general elections.
Ahirudin said the EC officer had advised him to lodge a police report and seek an official explanation from EC secretary Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor over the ‘unique’ situation.
Nevertheless, the experience has left a bad taste in Ahirudin’s mouth.
“I’ve always been skeptical when people talk about phantom voters being used to win elections. I have always been sympathetic with the EC when people accuse it of flaws in the electoral process.
“With millions on the electoral roll, surely honest mistakes can be expected here and there. (But) there’s nothing honest about the EC’s mistake (in my case),” said Ahirudin in his weblog.