Ridiculous for Election Commission to talk about electronic voting system when it cannot cope with online voter registration or ensure a clean and valid electoral list
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Sunday): It is ridiculous for the Election Commission to talk about implementing an electronic voting system for future elections when it could not cope with online voter registration or accomplish its most elementary task of drawing up a clean and valid electoral list free of phantom voters.
The Election Commission should give top priority to introduce an automatic voter registration system where a citizen who reaches 21 years and qualifies to be a voter is automatically placed on the electoral list based on his or her address on the national identity card and to purge the electoral list of all phantom voters.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had bandied the figure of 2.8 million phantom voters while the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said that there should not be much difficulty in tracking the phantom voters as the Election Commission and the relevant government departments were fully computerized.
Last month, Abdullah had said:
A week before polling day in the last general election in November 1999, I had pointed out that there were thousands of phantom voters in Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency, referring in particular to over 279 phantom voters registered in eight Rifle Range flats – when it was impossible to have 30 to 40 voters in one flat!
DAP fully agrees with Abdullah of the need for a complete clean-up of the electoral roll to ensure that voting is not tainted by fraud, cheating and phantom votes. As Abdullah said, the integrity and credibility of the Election Commission is at stake on whether it could clean the electoral roll of phantom voters.
Can the Election Commission explain the progress of its clean-up of the electoral roll, in particular the 2.8 million phantom voters on the electoral roll alleged by UMNO, before it introduces the idea of electronic voting system?
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman