Voters get to rethink


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012

PETALING JAYA: Voters turned away from polling centres for refusing to have their finger marked with indelible ink will be allowed to return to cast their ballots if they change their mind.

These are among the procedures which the Election Commission will adopt as indelible ink is used for the first time in the 13th general election.

The commission's deputy chairman, Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, said that with more than 12 million voters, the EC had to anticipate every possible scenario and draw up procedures to deal with them.

“Some voters could arrive at polling centres but may not want to be marked because they want to test the law.

“They may go to court on the matter later.

“Others may say they are reluctant because they fear the ink could cause allergic reactions or ruin their nail polish,” Wan Ahmad said.

“They can go home and think about it. If they change their mind within the voting period of between 8am and 5pm, we will mark their finger and allow them to cast their ballots,” he said.

According to the EC's guidebook on indelible ink, ballot papers will not be issued if the voter does not allow the finger to be marked or fails to show his or her finger to the polling clerk to verify that no indelible ink mark is present.

The presiding officer will record the incident in a form and the voter will be allowed to leave.

If he returns after changing his mind, he will be allowed to vote.

In the event of a dispute between the voter and the polling clerk on the status of a voter whose finger bears traces of what could be indelible ink, the presiding officer at the polling stream will be called in to make the final decision.

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