Can your postal votes be changed by anyone in Malaysia?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Postal Votes Can Be Changed On Receipt In Malaysia!
This message has gone viral on WhatsApp and social media, warning people that postal votes can be changed on receipt in Malaysia!
Recommended : Postal Voting Guide For Overseas Malaysians!
Truth : Postal Votes Cannot Be Changed On Receipt In Malaysia!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Sampul A + B Envelopes Are Sealed
After marking their ballots, postal voters will seal them in individual Sampul A envelopes, that are then sealed together with their Borang 2 forms in individual Sampul B envelopes.
For anyone to change the votes, he/she will have to tear open the envelopes, which would invalidate the vote inside. The vote will be marked as a spoiled vote, and will not count towards the electoral verdict.
Fact #2 : Changing The Vote Would Spoil It
While pencil can be used to mark the ballot, most postal voters will likely use a pen to mark their ballots.
If someone breaks into the envelopes and marks a different choice on the ballot, that will also invalidate the vote – you can only mark once in each ballot.
The vote will be marked as a spoiled vote, and will not count towards the electoral verdict.
Fact #3 : GE14 Postal Vote Hand Carrying Not Due To Fraud
Postal voting in GE14 was pretty much restricted to Malaysian military personnel, government servants and full-time students residing overseas.
Even though the Election Commission (SPR) granted limited rights to overseas Malaysia to vote by post, less than 8,000 were eligible because voter registration was not yet automatic.
In the end, only 212,834 Malaysians were eligible to vote by post, consisting of :
- 149,730 election workers, military and police personnel, and members of the media,
- 7,979 overseas Malaysians
However, the reason why many overseas Malaysians had to resort to the hand-carrying method was because the postal ballots arrived late, and it would take too long to mail them back.
To avoid those postal ballots being rendered void because they could not reach the Returning Officer in their home constituency by 5:30 PM on Election Day, Malaysians banded together to help “hand carry” them.
People flying back to Malaysia brought back the ballots, and handed them over to runners who brought them to each local constituency. However, all this was done to meet the deadline, not to avoid election fraud.
Fact #2 : 1.86 Million Overseas Malaysians Eligible For Postal Voting
In GE15, about 1.86 million Malaysians residing overseas are eligible for postal voting – a vast increase from less than 8,000 in GE14.
That is almost 9% of the total electorate in Malaysia, and for the first time ever – postal voting will have a significant effect on a Malaysian general election.
Hence, it is important to be wary about fake news that are designed to discourage postal voting.
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