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Friday, March 30, 2012

Election roll audit detects 8% invalid addresses


An independent audit by civil society on the much-disputed electoral roll found eight percent of the voters’ addresses were invalid.

Among the 92 percent valid addresses, 74 percent of the voters can be recognised, but only 31 percent out of recognisable voters resided at their addresses.

These unidentified addresses were largely concentrated in Kuala Lumpur with the highest percentage of 27 percent, stated the audit report jointly prepared by election watchdog National Institute for Democracy and Electoral Integrity (NIEI), media rights group Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and public survey organisation Merdeka Centre.

“The reason for the eight percent unidentified addresses submitted was largely attributed to the rapid development and re-development of the capital city and weak coordination between town and country planning units, and cross-department coordination and cooperation towards maintaining the changes in the locality in line with the changes in the electoral roll,” read the report.

NONENIEI acting chairperson K Shan (left) commented that the passive “civil service attitude” of the Election Commission (EC) and its failure to catch up with the changes in the voting localities, as well as its lack of auditing and verification exercise, also contributed to the problem.

The high percentage (69 percent) of voters who did not reside at their registered voting addresses is a major concern and an unhealthy practice of democracy.

Malaysia practices the electoral system of ‘First Past the Post’ which is specifically designed to provide for actual residents to elect their representatives in accordance with local needs, but the high number of non-resident voters gives rise to a detached and inadequately informed decision-making process, he explained.

[More to follow]

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