KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — The government is mulling the idea of adopting and implementing a new automatic polling system in Malaysia, one that will emulate the voting frameworks currently being used in Australia.
According to a New Straits Times (NST) report, Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) chief executive Amirul Muner Mohamad praised the system, saying how it was an open and democratic one that could also make voting from abroad easier and accessible.
Amirul said the ERC were given two years to see if the government should adopt the Australian system, while also taking into consideration the issues faced by the United Kingdom and the United States that use a similar system.
It was reported the Australian polling system functions by automatically registering new voters once they turn the legal voting age of 18, and also allows its citizens to vote from anywhere.
Australian adults are compelled to vote once they turn 18 after being added to the electoral roll automatically, which Amirul pointed out as one of the drawbacks, saying the automated inclusion of voters was a practice not yet feasible in Malaysia.
Amirul, in a subsequent report by the English daily, said potentially complications like registering a change in voters’ permanent addresses and having to verify the validity of the said address would pose problems in managing the electoral roll.
“The problem includes issues on the validity of residency, residential address system and others that may be faced by the electoral management body.
“It is something that I cannot elaborate on because it correlates with legal affairs,” he was quoted as saying in the report.