EC and NRD Need to Clarify the Issue of Misuse of Identity Cards to vote

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) is deeply concerned by reports that voters were unable to vote because their identity cards were used by other individuals in the six state elections. We urge the Election Commission (EC) as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) and the National Registration Department (NRD) to provide an explanation regarding this issue.

The misuse of another person’s identity card to vote in an election is an election offence under Section 3(1)(l) and Section 7 of the Election Offences Act, which is voting in an electoral division where one is not entitled to vote and an impersonation offence.

Based on the report by BERSIH Election Observers, we have found out that three voters were unable to vote because their identity cards were used for voting, which caused their names to be crossed out from the voting list for this election. The three voters were at SMK Seberang Marang, Terengganu, SK Kampung Raja Uda, Selangor, and SK Taman Mahsuri, Kedah. The PDRM has also made a statement that they have received as many as 94 reports regarding the same offence [1]. In the last 15th General Election (GE15), we also received three reports of voters’ names being crossed out from the list, indicating that others had voted on their behalf.

This current reports show a significant increase compared to previous elections, such as the GE15, Melaka, Sarawak, and Johor State Elections.

Therefore, SPR needs to immediately carry out an internal investigation at the polling centres where the errors have been reported against the election officials, especially the Polling Clerks (KP) 1 and 2, who are responsible for verifying the identity of each voter who comes to vote by reviewing the electoral roll and identifying faces on the voter’s identity card. An investigation needs to be conducted as to whether KP1 and 2 have performed their duties based on the act and regulations set.

NRD, which is under the MOHA, also needs to conduct a transparent investigation and explain this issue to the public. The misuse of identity cards and impersonation to vote in elections is a serious offence because this has denied real voters their right to vote, as well as affecting the integrity of the  electoral roll and the conduct of the election itself.

BERSIH also urged the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) on Human Rights, Elections, and Institutional Reform to cross-party investigate this matter and conduct an investigation at the Parliamentary level, including obtaining reports on the conduct of elections by the EC, such as details of expenses, election issues, and voter registration issues.

Released by:
The Steering Committee of BERSIH