EC says Sabah state elections on Sep 26, early voting Sep 22

Election Commission deputy chairman Dr Azmi Sharom.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will hold its 16th state election on Sept 26, says the Election Commission (EC).

Nomination day has been set for Sept 12 and early voting will be on Sept 22.

EC deputy chairman Dr Azmi Sharom at a press conference said after chairing a special meeting for the 16th Sabah state election polling proceedings on Monday (Aug 17) that there would be a 14-day campaigning period.

The EC went ahead with the announcement of the dates even though the High Court here had said earlier that it would decide on Tan Sri Musa Aman's bid for a judicial review on the dissolution of the Sabah assembly this Friday (Aug 21).

Azmi said there will be 64 nomination centres which will also be vote counting centres in this state polls, with 73 returning officers (RO) appointed, helped by 193 assistant Ros.

He added that the EC also formed 73 enforcement teams to monitor the campaigns.

"They will consist of representatives from the police, local authorities and agents of the candidates, ” he said.

Azmi said as many as 30,540 election staff will be handling the Sabah state elections and added that 741 voting centres containing 2,613 channels will be used in the Sabah state election, said Azmi.

"The 16th Sabah state election is expected to cost RM186mil," he added.

Azmi said there were 1,124,598 eligible voters who can cast their ballot in the incoming Sabah state election.

Out of the figure, 1,103,646 are normal voters, 9,448 armed forces personnel and their spouses, 11,423 police and General Operations Force (PGA) personnel, as well as 81 voters located overseas.

Azmi also said that that 12,297 disabled voters who were registered with the Welfare Department, will be voting on Channel 1.

He added that there will be a 30-minute extension on the voting time as eligible Malaysians can cast their ballots from 7.30am to 5pm, compared to 8am to 5pm in GE14.

Meanwhile, commenting on the ongoing judicial review by Musa to dispute the dissolution of the state assembly, Azmi said the EC hasn’t received any directive or order from the court.

“We will continue to prepare for this state election. Until we get orders from the court, we will continue to uphold this responsibility.”

On the postal voting requested by Sabahans living out of the state, Azmi said that it is not possible to do this during the coming state election, as the request requires thorough preparation.

Azmi also said that new regulations to curb Covid-19 wouldn’t hamper voter turnout, saying that there was a turnout of over 70% in the Tasik Chini by-election.

“We are hoping that the experiences of the Tasik Chini and Slim (by-elections) will be used in Sabah, ” he added.

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