EC: Over 85% turnout expected in state polls

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission is expecting voter turnout in the six state elections to exceed 85%, says its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh.

He said this estimate would exceed the 74.7% turnout during the 15th General Election (GE15) last year.

“The EC, together with the security team, is prepared to deal with any problems. So don’t worry, go out to vote,” he said, Bernama reported.

He said this when met by reporters after attending a briefing on the final preparations at the official vote-tallying centre at Semarak Hall Cyberjaya for the Dengkil state seat.

Today is polling day for state elections in Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan, as well as for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election.

Meanwhile, the EC is aiming for the results of the state polls to be tallied earlier than in past elections, said its secretary Datuk Ikmalrudin Ishak.

He said this is based on the performance of the upgraded system that was used during nomination day on July 29.

In Penang, the EC is expecting the first result of the state polls to be released before midnight, barring any objections or recounting, said its spokesman.

He said counting of votes will start immediately voting centres close.

“We are hoping to finish the tallying of votes by 11pm, if everything goes as planned,” said the spokesman.

There are 365 polling centres comprising over 2,130 voting streams for the 40 constituencies in Penang.

Ikmalrudin reminded voters of the no-mobile phone policy during the casting of ballots.

He said voters who bring mobile phones to polling stations must place their devices at a designated place after receiving their ballot papers.

“They will be able to get their gadgets back after they cast their ballots,” he said yesterday.

The EC has put up notices and warning posters to remind voters not to use their mobile phones while in line at voting streams.

“Voters should also not take photos of their ballot paper and upload them on social media platforms as their vote is confidential,” Ikmalrudin said.

He reminded voters to bring along their MyKad and not to wear anything bearing a candidate’s or political party’s name and symbol, and advised them not to hand over their identity cards to anyone other than EC staff for verification purposes.

While voters are advised to follow the recommended time for voting based on the MySPR Semak application, they are free to do so at any time between 8am and 6pm or follow the gazetted voting time at their polling centres.

“We advise voters not to turn up at the last minute. They are also to bring their identity card and provide voting details to clerks at polling stations to smoothen the process,” he said.

Ikamaruldin urged employers to provide reasonable time off for their staff to vote.

He said voters who are Covid-19 positive should communicate with their respective district health officer to facilitate the voting process.

Earlier, Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Haasan said Covid-19 positive voters will be informed through the MySejahtera app on guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission.

Dr Muhammad Radzi advised Covid-19 positive voters to cast their ballots two hours before voting ends to reduce the chance of interacting with other voters.

The election in the six states of Selangor, Penang, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu will have 9.78 million eligible voters.

The state polls involve 245 seats – 36 in Kedah, Kelantan (45), Terengganu (32), Penang (40), Selangor (56) and Negri Sembilan (36).

Voters can check their voting status at, contact the EC hotline at 03-8892 7018/ 7218/ 7124 or through the MySPR Semak application.

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