Will ink smudges from the SPR stamp on your ballot paper void your vote?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Ink Smudges From SPR Stamp Will Void Your Vote!
A video has gone viral on WhatsApp and social media, claiming that any ink smudges from the SPR stamp on your ballot paper will void your vote!
The video is in Bahasa Malaysia, so here is my rough English translation of what the man in the video said:
Peace unto you. This incident happened at the Sekolah Padang Besar Selatan voting centre, where the SPR official folded the paper while the SPR stamp here wasn’t dry.
When the ballot paper is folded like so, the SPR stamp will smudge the voting box for the BN candidate.
By folding the ballot paper this way, the SPR stamp will leave ink smudges in the box for the BN candidate.
If you mark X on any other candidate, the vote will be considered a spoilt vote. But if you mark X on the BN candidate, it will remain a valid vote.
This is a tactic that they are using, so please make sure the ballot paper is not folded. After voting, if you want to fold the ballot paper, fold it this way (so it doesn’t cover the SPR stamp).
If you cover the ballot paper this way, your vote will not be split. Thank you.
Truth : Ink Smudges From SPR Stamp Will NOT Void Your Vote!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Early Voting Only Started For Security Personnel
First, I should point out that early voting for police and military personnel and their spouses only started yesterday – Tuesday, 15 November, 2022.
This early voting only occurs in police contingent and district headquarters, as well as military camps, so the claim that this incident happened at the Padang Besar Selatan school is false.
Schools across Malaysia have not yet been converted into voting centres. That will only happen on Friday, 18 November 2022, just in time for the 15th General Election the next day.
Fact #2 : Ink Smudges From SPR Stamp Will Not Void Any Vote
The Malaysia Election Commission (SPR) stated on Wednesday, 16 November 2022, that ink smudges will not void any vote.
SPR also pointed out that voting clerks have been instructed to fold the ballot paper horizontally, to avoid smearing of the stamp.
But in the event the ballot paper was folded vertically, causing ink smears from the stamp, the vote will still count.
The most important thing is that the voter clearly marks his/her choice – this will be accepted by the counting clerk, and verified by observers watching them.
Fact #3 : Ink Smudges Won’t Necessarily Benefit BN Candidate
While sample ballot papers always show three candidates, the truth is – there may be many candidates. In fact, in GE15, 10 candidates are fighting for the Batu parliamentary seat!
So this “tactic” will result in ink smudges that smear the voting box of multiple candidates, and not necessarily the BN candidate. As you can tell – this is an illogical way to cheat.
Please WATCH OUT about such FAKE NEWS on WhatsApp and social media. They are designed to suppress voter turnout in the 15th General Election.
Regardless of what you may read or see on social media, please take the time and effort to cast your vote. This is not only your right, it is your responsibility as a citizen of Malaysia.
Remember – democracy does not guarantee us a good government. Democracy only guarantees us the right to vote out a bad government!
Happy voting on 19 November 2022!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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