Bersih 2.0 wants more transparency on EC’s voter list, better safeguards for objections

Bersih 2.0 pressed the EC to investigate and take legal action against alleged electoral roll abuses that it claimed took place in 2016 and 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Bersih 2.0 pressed the EC to investigate and take legal action against alleged electoral roll abuses that it claimed took place in 2016 and 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — The Election Commission should let accredited data analysts scrutinise the Draft Supplementary Electoral Roll (RDPT) to ensure it is free of anomalies, electoral watchdog Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) said today.

While lauding the EC’s recent move to publicly display the RDPT for the first quarter of 2019, Bersih 2.0 said it was necessary to allow such analysts access to more detailed, information including addresses and registration sources, than currently displayed.

It said that the RDPT since 2017 has lacked such data, making it impossible for third-party monitors such as the Malaysia Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP) to independently assess the electoral roll’s integrity.

“The accredited data analysts are to submit their findings to the EC and (the commission should) undertake not to abuse the information provided to them,” the group said in a statement.

The organisation also proposed more measures to facilitate voters disputing information from the roll or whose details are being challenged, such as allowing observers from accredited non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to be present when an objection is filed.

The EC must also provide sufficient time for such voters to contact them and submit their objections, the group said.

“Furthermore, reasonable efforts must be made (by the EC) to contact voters whose names are being objected,” the group said.

Bersih 2.0 then pressed the EC to investigate and take legal action against alleged electoral roll abuses that it claimed took place in 2016 and 2017, which it said should extend to making elected lawmakers vacate their positions if they are found to be involved.

On April 30, EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun announced that the RDPT for this year’s first quarter will be displayed from April 30 to May 13, in 963 places throughout the country.