PETALING JAYA: Reform the postal ballot process if you are unwilling to prolong the campaign period for the state elections, says the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih).
Responding to the announcement of the polling date for the upcoming state elections, Bersih said the current process for postal voters should be changed to accommodate overseas voters in successfully sending their ballots in time.
“If the Election Commission (EC) is unwilling to extend the campaign period, we call on them to completely reform the postal voting system. They should allow postal voters to download their ballots and other documents in PDF format to eliminate the need for the EC to post or courier the ballots to them.
“This would also eliminate clerical errors commonly found with manually writing out serial numbers and stuffing envelopes. It would also be a huge cost savings for the EC,” it said yesterday.
“Campaign periods should be a minimum of 21 days.
“Since GE14, we have received numerous reports from overseas voters that by the time they received their postal ballots, it was either very close to the polling day or had passed it,” it said.
However, Bersih commended the decision to hold polling for all six state elections on the same date.
“We believe six different election dates for six state elections would have prolonged the politicking and added to the confusion and lethargy for voters,” it said.
Bersih also said volunteer groups that collect postal ballots to have them delivered to their respective Returning Officers should be supported and that it urged the Foreign Ministry to “direct all Malaysia Halls to allow volunteers to use them as collection centres”.
Yesterday, the EC announced that the polling day for the state assembly elections had been set for Aug 12.
It was also announced that the nomination day for candidates will be on July 29, while early voting will be on Aug 8.