Wednesday February 20, 2013
EC chairman: Ballot papers will be issued to voters after fingers marked
By RINTOS MAIL
KUCHING: Malaysian voters who refused to have their fingers marked with the indelible ink will not be allowed to cast their votes in the general election.
Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof stressed that voters must have their fingers marked first before they were given the ballot papers.
He said there were certain non-governmental organisations (NGOs) trying to manipulate the use of indelible ink.
He said they were claiming that they were helping the EC to train and prepare EC officers and voters with the new ruling that would be implemented in the polls.
“I call them deviationists because they are not helping us but going against the EC.
“The EC has decided that the indelible ink will be marked on the voters’ fingers before the ballot papers are given to them, but the groups were telling voters not to let their fingers be marked until they are given the ballot papers,” he told a press conference after opening the EC briefing for the returning officers here yesterday.
Indelible ink will be used for the first time in the general election following recommendations made by a parliamentary panel set up by the Government to study electoral reforms.
The ink contains silver nitrate that would be absorbed into the nail and skin, making it last for several days.
However, the colour remains a secret to prevent sabotage.
Abdul Aziz said the groups were also causing confusions among voters by telling them to check their status at the election booths set up by the various political parties.
He said no political party or any other agency would be allowed to set up their election booths near the polling centres except the EC.
He also assured that nothing (no names or identification card numbers) would be written on the ballot papers to ensure every vote was a secret.
He said if voters saw a polling clerk trying to write something on a ballot paper they must tell them off.
“It is impossible to trace who votes for which party, unless the polling clerk writes the voter’s name and IC number on the ballot paper.
“The serial number is for us to know how many voters turn up for the polls at a particular time,” he said.