The Sarawak state elections will be the 2nd time when the EC will use hologram stickers to secure the ballot boxes to dispel criticisms that the ballot boxes could be swapped mid-way through any transportation. While it is a positive move it is by no means all it takes to restore full public confidence on the electoral administration by the EC-which has been criticised for its partiality and lack of effectiveness for decades. May be other than looking at the hardware for electoral management the EC should reflect on the softwares ie the EC’s itself as a suitable materail to run the elections in free and fair basis that meet not just international standards but also the local school club elections!
EC says to use holograms on Tenang ballot boxes
Bahasa Malaysia Editor
PUTRAJAYA, 12 Jan — The Election Commission (EC) will begin using ballot boxes marked with serialised holographic numbers to dispel perceptions and allegations that ballot boxes were exposed to tampering.
Ballot boxes with hologram stickers will first see use at the Tenang by-election this month before being expanded to the upcoming Sarawak state polls and general election, said EC chief Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof when met at his office yesterday.
The EC had began using transparent ballot boxes in Election 2008.
“Our ballot boxes are safe but some say that they can be dumped into the river, switched with other boxes or ballot papers, manipulated… it makes me laugh when I hear these allegations.
Such allegations of ballot tampering had surfaced during the Batang Ai by-election in Sarawak early last year.
“So, to convince the public, we will use hologram stickers on every box that is used,” he said.
Today, Abdul Aziz explained that votes already cast into ballot boxes could not be changed as there were forms that gave the total number of ballot papers issued and allocated.
These forms cannot be changed indiscriminately and are signed off in front of the polling agents of each candidate, he added.
Abdul Aziz said that new ballot boxes will each have a unique serial number printed on a hologram sticker and these can only be read using specialised equipment.
“Each box will have its own security number so the issue of safety, where the boxes are supposedly switched en route, does not arise,” he said.
According to Abdul Aziz, the new security measure will not incur a heavy cost.
Voting for the Tenang by-election has been set for Jan 30, one week after nominations on January 22.