(Updated 6:10pm, 6 April 2009)
SUNGAI PETANI, 6 April 2009: Bukit Selambau has 15 voters over 100 years old on the electoral roll and the Election Commission (EC) cannot verify whether they are still alive or not.
EC deputy chairperson Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said although the 15 voters could not be traced, it could not remove their names from the electoral roll until the National Registration Department (NRD) confirmed their status.
“This is among the problems faced by EC when cleaning up the electoral roll as some family members did not report death cases to NRD.”
Wan Ahmad reminded voters not to panic upon receiving the large ballot paper as it was to accommodate the names of 15 candidates contesting the Bukit Selambau by-election.
The ballot paper measuring 25cm x 50cm has to be folded into four to fit the ballot box. EC will place an additional ballot box for every 64 channels at 22 polling districts.
He said EC expects voter turnout for the by-election to increase to 80% compared to 73.7% during the general election.
The two main contributing factors for the higher turnout were the fine weather expected tomorrow and the choice of many candidates.
Meanwhile, Wan Ahmad criticised Parti Keadilan Rakyat for claiming that EC has erred as the ballot paper for the Bukit Selambau by-election does not contain the candidates’ numbers.
“I like to remind that since the first general election, the candidates’ numbers were never printed on the ballot paper. It only contains the candidates names and symbols,” he told reporters here today.
Under the Election Act, EC only has to print three boxes on the ballot paper assigned for the names of candidates, symbols and for the cross.
Wan Ahmad said the candidates’ numbers were just for listing purposes and not meant for printing on the ballot paper.
PKR information chief Tian Chua claimed that the ballot paper for Bukit Selambau was confusing as the candidates’ numbers were not printed and this was inconsistent with past elections.
He threatened to take the matter to court over the ballot paper. — Bernama