19 December 2011

Indelible ink and advance voting for GE13, OK says EC...

NONEThe parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform's recommendations for advance voting and indelible ink will be implemented for the 13th general election, said Election Commission (EC) chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.

"By default, all military men and their spouses, police and spouses of Pasukan Gerakan Am (general operations force) will be advance voters unless they are on duty and apply for postal voting," he said at a special press conference to respond to the PSC interim report.

Abdul Aziz added that a different type of indelible ink that lasts longer will be used on advance voters.

The inks have been sent to the Malaysia Chemistry Department and the results will be submitted to the National Fatwa Council and the Health Ministry, he said at the event at the EC headquarters in Putrajaya this morning.

"If the National Fatwa Council says that it is haram, then we will work to get the ink from different sources, but as far as we know, the ink that we are using has been widely used by Muslims in several countries."

The two changes are according to the PSC's interim report that Parliament endorsed on Dec 1.

‘Indelible ink will be indelible’

Abdul Aziz added that the inks have to be re-evaluated because they are different from those that were initially imported and had been intended for the 2008 general election.

He refused to disclose the source of the indelible ink, stating that the specifications will be kept secret until the evening before voting day.

“The indelible inks contain silver nitrate that will be absorbed in the nail and skin, it cannot be removed. The higher the percentage of silver nitrate, the longer it lasts. For advance voters, it will be at least seven percent and for normal voters four percent.”

“The four percent one may last up to three days but the seven percent one may last up to a week.”

He added that all voters must be marked by indelible ink and constitutional concerns do not arise as attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail has clarified the matter.

“The EC is preparing for procurement and training for the use in indelible ink. Amendments to rule 19 of the Election (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 are also being made and will be laid on the table in Parliament.”

However, he noted that it does not need to be debated by Parliament as it is merely a rule and not law.

‘Polling agents can guard ballot boxes’

For advance voting, Abdul Aziz said polling stations will be set up at army camps or police bases two to three days prior to election day.

“We estimate that the advance voting period may take up to two or three days, for example in Setiawangsa there are over 10,000 military men but whatever it is, advance voting must end before the actual voting day,” he said.

At the end of the day, the ballot box will be sealed and signed by the polling agents from all relevant parties and a new ballot box will be used if voting extends beyond a day.

“The ballot boxes will be stored in a safe place and guarded by police, and if the polling agents want to guard the ballot boxes as well, they may do so.”

Recommendations for doctors, nurses and journalists to be allowed advance voting is still under discussion but Election Commission officers who are on duty can apply for postal voting as before, he said.

SPR setuju dakwat kekal, undi awal

Suruhajaya Pilihan Raya(SPR) memutuskan untuk menggunakan dakwat kekal 'silver nitrate' pada pilihan raya umum ke-13, kata Pengerusi SPR, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof hari ini.

Beliau berkata dakwat itu adalah berlainan daripada dakwat kekal yang disyorkan pada pilihan raya umum ke-12.

azlanEnggan memaklumkan sumber negara ia diimport, Abdul Aziz berkata dakwat kekal itu digunakan di beberapa negara bagi memastikan pilihan raya berjalan lancar.

Beliau turut mengumumkan 'pengundian awal' akan diperkenalkan pada pilihan raya umum kelak iaitu tiga atau empat hari sebelum hari pengundian khusus bagi anggota tentera, pasangan anggota tentera, polis (tidak termasuk pasangan) dan pasangan anggota Pasukan Gerakan Am (PGA).

Undi pos masih dikekalkan namun pengundi terbabit perlu memohon kepada pegawai pengurus pilihan raya, kata Abdul Aziz pada sidang media di Putrajaya.

Katanya kesemua perkara berkenaan adalah antara cadangan yang dikemukakan Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Parlimen Berhubung Dengan Penambahbaikan Proses Pilihan Raya.



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