ELECTORAL reform group Bersih urged the Election Commission (EC) to allow eligible voters to apply for postal voting in the next elections in six states as soon as possible.
Bersih noted that this will enable more voters to apply and probably increase voter turnout for state elections.
“The EC need not wait until all the states have dissolved their respective state assemblies before opening up applications 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 percent from 7,979 in the 14th general election (GE14) to 48,109 in the 15th general election (GE15),” Bersih steering committee said in a statement today.
Moreover, Bersih added that EC has the constitutional responsibility to ensure that every eligible citizen is given reasonable voting access to exercise their responsibility as Malaysian citizens.
The group also requested that postal voting be extended to health and safety employees working in the private sector, such as private hospitals, who will be on duty on polling day.
According to Bersih, they received many complaints from election workers such as clerks and presiding officers during the 15th General Election (GE15).
The complainants claimed that they were not able to vote by post despite having registered as postal voters and were unable to vote on election day because they had to be on duty.
Furthermore, Bersih asserted that such incidents should not be repeated in the upcoming state elections.”
Six states will go to the polls soon, namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Penang. – June 1, 2023