The Perak Election Commission took off 1384 old voters suspected to have passed away, from the electoral roll. This is not the first time the EC do this despite their constant resistance against this on account that they had not received any death certificate from the National Registration Department. After the expose of many dead voters in 2006 Sarawak state elections the EC did pro-actively removed hundreds of dead voters from the subsequent by-elections in Permatang Pauh-without actually spelling out how they determine if the person involved was dead. So the real issue is: the EC should make an effort to determine the death of the voters before they delete their names! Perak election observers had made checks on centenarian voters in Perak and found a few of them did still walk around on a walking stick! And the excuse of no death certificate by the EC is suspect as the 3 dead voters in Nangka, Sibu did have death certificate issued by the NRD/JPN-why the EC did not delete their names? Some inefficiency is probably occuring in the EC’s registration system!
Since electoral roll is not assured of its integrity there are ground to question the legitimacy of the election results which derive from elections based on the rolls. It is well known that there are many close election results-the closest being only 2 votes. Addition of some postal votes or `phantom voters’ would have tilted the balance. In the past many election results saw BN candidates hanging on entirely due to postal votes!
But to clean up this is not easy job. Bangladesh took half a year to clean up its huge electoral roll of close to 90mil voters. But it was considered worth it for democracy sake. And a good outcome is : 98% of the citizens eligible to vote were registered. May be we should also consider doing it!
Imagine to ask civil society and Opposition parties to undertake such a gargantuan task: if there are even just 5% of the electoral roll consist of questionable voters (dead, not staying there) there are (5% of 12mil=) over 500 000 voters to check on the ground. This would be beyond the meagre resources of any non-governmental body and take overly long.
Yet the cleaning of the roll must be done as the credibility of the election results do depend on it. If the roll is constantly marred by expose’s of dead and other questionable voters the rolls will forever be questioned. Worse when there are really questionable voters eg a judge did found Likas (Sabah) voters roll was tainted by illegal migrants-and subsequently disqualify the winner at that time Yong Teck Li of SAPP. However the EC did not see to it that the Sabah electoral rolls were cleaned up after that. Such is the thick skin of the EC which can withstand even a court indictment on its electoral roll! Since then 4 books have been published to provide proves to the pervasive existence of the `phantom voters’-yet the EC can still disclaim the existence of phantom voters!
Volunteers wanted to help check the electoral rolls
Surely there are more questionable voters in the national electoral roll. But the RM40k++ cost is putting it beyond the reach of most people-even those who are eager to lend a hand to do something about it. MEO-Net call upon readers who are concerned to stand up for a clean electoral roll to volunter themselves to do checking in their own areas or some crucial areas, to help clean up the electoral roll. If we can’t do the whole roll at least we can help clean up some crucial areas-especially marginal seats where there are temptations to bring in `phantom (non-resident)voters’. You are welcoem to contact MEO-Net at firstname.lastname@example.org