SEREMBAN: With some four million eligible Malaysians yet to register as voters, the Election Commission (EC) is again considering online registration.
If the move is implemented, Malaysians would be able to register as voters via electronic devices including mobile phones.
Online registration would also enable the EC to effectively check attempts by irresponsible agents of political parties to register the dead, those who had migrated or the underaged as voters.
Currently, only about 13.3 million of the country’s 30 million people are registered as voters.
EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said although there had been some objections to the proposal in the past, online registration was most practical to enable more Malaysians to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
“In the United States, the people are already voting online. In Australia, you can register as a voter today and vote tomorrow.
“But we are still far behind. We have to consider allowing online registration and move forward,” he told The Star.
Abdul Aziz said online registration was safe because every person would be given a PIN (personal identifiction number).
“That PIN will be exclusive and we will be able to verify the information given online with the National Registration Department,” he said.
However, he said by registering online, a person would not automatically become a registered voter, adding that other processes such as having the proposed voters’ names displayed for a month for objections and enquiries would continue.
“These processes will be continued for transparency,” he said, adding that it would also take an average of four months before someone who registers online to become a registered voter.
Abdul Aziz said the person would also be able to use the PIN for future dealings with the EC, to check his or her polling centre or other information.
The EC had in 2001 allowed eligible Malaysians who wished to become voters to register at various locations throughout the year.
Before that, the commission used to hold a 42-day voter registration exercise throughout the country yearly.
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