Are the recommended time slots for voting in GE15 designed to let in phantom voters?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : GE15 Voting Time Slots Are Meant To Let In Phantom Voters!
This message has gone viral on WhatsApp, claiming that the SPR recommended time slots for voting in GE15 is meant to block you from voting, so they can send in phantom voters!
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Truth : GE15 Voting Time Slots Won’t Allow Phantom Voters In!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : GE15 Voting Hours Are Fixed On Election Day
First, let me establish some basic facts about the voting hours on GE15 – the 15th General Election.
Voting hours for GE15 are fixed from 8 AM until 6 PM, in Peninsular Malaysia, and from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM in Sabah and Sarawak.
As long as you get to the polling centre by those times, no one can deny you entry or the right to vote on election day, the 19th of November 2022.
That said, the SPR can gazette different closing times for different closing times for different polling centres, especially in the rural areas.
So please check the correct opening hours for your polling centre using this SPR link.
Fact #2 : Recommended Time Slot Meant To Avoid Overcrowding
The viral message falsely claims that the recommended voting time slot is meant to force people to crowd at the end of voting hours.
The two-hour recommended voting time slot is merely a suggestion, as part of the Election Commission (SPR)’s effort to avoid overcrowding at the polling centres.
Typically, there is a tendency for people to rush to vote in the early morning, leading to long queues. While it was acceptable in past elections, it’s a health risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, the SPR is trying to minimise crowding by spacing voters out into 2 hour time slots. Even then, it is merely a recommendation, not a rule.
It is up to you to follow their recommendation, or come whenever it’s convenient.
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Fact #3 : Recommended Time Slot Varies From Person To Person
The viral message falsely claimed that the government set the recommended time slot to 3 PM to 5 PM, in an effort to force overcrowding and to prevent you from voting.
From what I have personally seen, there appears to be four time slots:
- 8 AM to 10 AM
- 10 AM to 12 PM
- 1 PM to 3 PM
- 3 PM to 5 PM
The recommended 2-hour period varies from person to person, and is not set to the same 3-5 PM time slot, as alleged.
Fact #4 : Last Time Slot Leaves Plenty Of Time To Vote
The last time slot of 3 PM to 5 PM still leaves voters with an hour to enter the voting centre to vote.
Voting does not stop at 5 PM sharp. The voting centre will stop letting people in at 6 PM (Peninsular Malaysia) or 5:30 PM (Sabah and Sarawak), but once you are in, you are allowed to vote.
So even if you follow the recommended 3 PM to 5 PM time slot, and arrive at 5 PM, you still have one hour to saunter into the voting centre to vote.
Each voting centre will usually have multiple polling stations (Saluran), because the SPR has stipulated that each polling station can only accommodate a maximum of 750 voters, to ensure that waiting time is minimal.
In addition, special voting stations for senior citizens and people with special needs are limited to just 450 voters each.
In other words – as long as you head over to the voting centre with one hour to spare, you should have no issue casting your vote before the voting centre even closes its doors.
Fact #5 : No Evidence Of Phantom Voters
Claims of phantom voters committing election fraud are rife at every Malaysian general election, but there has been no evidence of phantom voters.
That’s because the voting process itself is being observed by volunteers working as observers or polling / counting agents (PACA) from different political parties. This ensures that there are no shenanigans during voting, including phantom voters.
Even if you arrived late and are not able to vote, no one can take your place to vote, because once the voting time has ceased, the ballot boxes are sealed and sent to the counting centres.
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