Monday September 24, 2012
Record number of new voters to impact upcoming elections
By RAZAK AHMAD
PETALING JAYA: A record number of first-time voters will have a huge impact on the outcome of the 13th general election.
With new voters now making up one in five of the country's 13.1 million voters or about 22% (2.9 million) of the electorate, both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat are expected to focus on wooing them over in their campaign strategies.
A total of 2,920,828 Malaysians have registered as voters between 2008 and June 30 this year.
“This is the highest figure so far. Over the last four years, we have been going all out to reduce the number of unregistered Malaysian voters,” Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said in an interview.
He said the 2.9 million first-time voters were almost equally divided between those aged below 39 and those 40 and above.
“It can't be denied that new voters will have a major influence on the outcome of the next general election but whether they are youths or senior citizens, each vote will count,” Wan Ahmad said.
A total of 155,420 Malaysians signed up as voters in 2008. The numbers have progressively increased with 279,270 in 2009, 826,462 in 2010 and 1,221,635 last year. An additional 438,041 people registered as voters between Jan 1 and June 30 this year.
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