EC Must Open Application for Postal Voting for the 6 State Elections Immediately

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) calls on the Election Commission (EC) to immediately allow eligible voters to apply as postal voters for the upcoming state elections, namely Kedah, Kelantan, Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu.

The EC need not wait until all the states have dissolved their respective state assemblies before opening up application for postal voting, especially for category 1B voters who are Malaysian citizens living abroad such as students and those working abroad. It should be noted that the number of category 1B postal voters increased by 600%, from 7,979 in GE14 to 48,109 in GE15.

Opening applications early for postal voting will allow more voters time to apply and likely to raise voters turnout rate for the state elections. The EC must remember that it is their constitutional responsibility to ensure that every citizen who is eligible to vote is given reasonable voting access to exercise their responsibility as citizens of Malaysia

BERSIH also proposes that category 1C postal voters, which are agencies or organizations authorized by the EC, should be extended to health and safety personnel working in the private sector such as private hospitals who will be on duty on polling day

BERSIH also received many complaints during GE15 of election workers such as clerks and presiding officers of polling stations, not being able to vote by post despite having registered as postal voters and were then unable to vote on election day because they had to be on duty (1).  Such incidents should not be repeated in the upcoming state elections.

Issued by:
BERSIH Steering Committee