Postal ballots for uniformed corps redefined for transparency

PUTRAJAYA: Postal voting for military and police personnel has been redefined as advance voting and will be handled only by Election Commission (EC) officers in the next general election.

EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said advance voting would be fully handled by specially designated assistant returning officers (ROs) instead of the personnel's superior officers in military camps and district police headquarters.

In advance voting, the personnel will cast their votes one to two days before the actual polling day.

The ballots, which would be kept by the assistant RO, would be counted together with the ballots collected on the actual day, Wan Ahmad said.

He said the new system was an administrative change to EC's election process and did not require amending the Elections Act 1958.

He added that military and police personnel would no longer use the Form 2 and envelopes to place their ballots after they cast their votes as previously practised.

“This is part of the improvements by EC to make the voting process more transparent and acceptable to political parties,” he said yesterday.

However, Wan Ahmad said military and police personnel including General Operation Force personnel posted to borders and in remote operational or training areas, could still opt for postal voting.

“This will be handled by the RO with help from the Defence Minister and they will have to submit the votes no later than 5pm to the RO,” he said.

Diplomats posted to overseas missions and embassies and full-time students would continue to use the postal voting system, he added.

Wan Ahmad also said that election candidates could continue to send a representative to observe the entire election process in the camps and police headquarters.

He added that the same electoral rolls used by EC officers for the advance voting would be given to each political party that was contesting in the respective state or parliamentary constituency.

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