Thursday, April 12, 2012
EC debunks Bersih's 'double registration' claim
The Election Commission (EC) has rejected allegations of double registration in the electoral roll, clarifying that the 'fraud' unearthed by Bersih 2.0 yesterday were legitimate applications of Sabah and Sarawak voters to switch their voting addresses to Selangor.
"Their applications to change address from Sabah/Sarawak to Selangor are pending subject to normal checking/verification with the National Registration Department (NRD).
"(There was) one week's display, (and) subject to objection (will be) gazetted in about mid May," said EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (left) in a text-message when contacted yesterday.
For voters whose applications are approved, their names will be deleted from the Sabah and Sarawak electoral lists but retained in the gazetted electoral list of Selangor, he explained.
"The EC will never purposely do double registration and we are trying very hard to clean up the electorate roll at all times," Abdul Aziz added.
Yesterday electoral reform coalition Bersih 2.0 claimed that 24,105 voters in Sabah and Sarawak had been registered twice in Selangor in the latest electoral roll updated until the first quarter of 2012.
However, Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Maria Chin(right), who presented the findings, did not disclose any specific case when asked by the media, saying that details will be revealed at a press conference in the near future.
She also claimed that these double registrations were found in the gazetted electoral roll of first quarter of 2012, but Abdul Aziz said it will be gazetted only in May.
A similar allegation was levelled by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim last month, who claimed that a voter named Zarina Abu Tausi registered in Pulai, Johor, was re-registered as a new voter in Pekan, Pahang.
A search on the EC's official website then showed Zarina having two voting status. Her first voting address in Pulai labelled as "verified electoral roll" while her second in Pekan tagged as "application being processed".
The EC later gave the same explanation, that Zarina was previously on the master roll as an ordinary voter in Pekan but had applied to be an absentee voter in Pekan as her husband was serving in the military.
The website showed two records of Zarina because the online database was being updated for the fourth quarter roll of 2011, in which her application has been listed, and was gazetted only two days ago, an EC official explained.
When the database is updated, only one voting status will remain, he added.