Bersih 2.0 claims new discrepancies in electoral roll for four states

Bersih 2.0 said its checks showed voters from the same address had been registered in different localities, state constituencies or parliament seats. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Bersih 2.0 said its checks showed voters from the same address had been registered in different localities, state constituencies or parliament seats. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 said today it has discovered new irregularities in the voter registration roll in Pahang, Perak, Johor and Sabah.

It said its checks showed voters from the same address had been registered in different localities, state constituencies or parliament seats and demanded the Election Commission (EC) explain these new discrepancies.

“We are extremely disappointed that these dubious voter statuses still remain in the electoral roll. The Election Commission has repeatedly claimed that it has corrected the electoral roll but in every quarter, new mistakes are discovered alongside existing errors by the Bersih monitoring team,” the group’s steering committee said in a statement.

The group said it was first alerted to new errors in the electoral roll by Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh who complained that some voters in her constituency who shared the same road in their address were separated into two different state constituencies: Beserah and Teruntum.

Bersih 2.0 then said its researcher Lee Wee Tak later found similar cases in Johor where 139 voters were registered as well as in Sabah and Perak where family members were registered at separate polling stations, state seats and or parliament seats.

It noted that the Election Commission (EC) had told Fuziah that voter details are manually entered into the system without any smart links with GPS navigation to match voters to the correct boundaries.

However, the group said the explanation was not satisfactory.

“While some inaccuracies can be put down to honest human error given the flawed system, Bersih 2.0 will not rule out intentional tampering to tip the scales to favour a certain party in elections as the occurrence of such mistakes are happening repeatedly,” it said.

It added that the “flawed and outdated system” meant that the EC is not even able to fulfil its basic duties to ensure that every citizen is able to vote and vote correctly.

“Such discrepancies can be done away with if automatic voter registration is adopted, a recommendation that Bersih 2.0 has been pushing for since 2007 which has been all but ignored by the EC,” it said.

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