PETALING JAYA, April 17 — The Election Commission (EC) should dispel public concerns that their ballots were identifiable and correct online messages spreading misinformation on the voting process, said Bersih 2.0.
The electoral reform group said such messages and concerns reflected a lack of trust in the EC.
“While some of these messages provide the necessary correct information, many are either outright misleading or incorrect, confusing voters and spreading fear that their votes can be traced back to them and that they need to resort to use particular methods to protect their votes,” it said.
Bersih 2.0 executive director Yap Swee Seng said one such message urged voters to obscure the serial numbers on their ballots to avoid identification.
“That is wrong, because when you ink the number off with a pen or pencil, that ballot paper becomes a spoilt vote,” he said.
The serial numbers are used to track the number of ballots issued, but cannot be tied to the voter who received it, he explained.
Other pieces of misinformation include those teaching voters to mark their ballots with an oversized cross to prevent tampering, Yap said when clarifying that it was only necessary to make one's selection within the provided box.
Venturing outside the confines of the selection box will again spoil the ballot, he explained.
Bersih 2.0 said it will make resources available online to educate voters on the process, including an EC-prepared guide that is normally given only to polling and counting agents.
Bersih steering committee member Mandeep Singh reminded the EC of its duty to properly inform voters about such matters, saying it should not be left to groups such as his to do so.