Bersih: Only 4 working days for postal ballots?

Bersih’s Shahrul Aman questions the lack of time for postal votes to be sent and received.

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission has been asked to state exactly how ballot papers will be sent to overseas postal voters and how many days voters will have to return their ballot papers.

Last week, Election Commission chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah said postal votes would be sent to voters after nomination of candidates closed this Saturday, April 28 and must be received by 5pm on polling day, Wednesday May 9.

However, the Bersih 2.0 reform group said this schedule meant only four working days were available for ballot papers to be sent and received.

Bersih acting chairman, Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari, said the EC should provide detailed information about how postal votes would be despatched, given the extremely short campaign period.

“At an EC briefing, participants were told that the EC will only mail the ballot paper on May 2, as May 1 is a public holiday (labour day). This leaves only 4 working days for the ballot papers to be sent and received.

(The working days are May 3-4 and May 7-8. Postal votes must reach counting centres by 5pm on Wednesday, May 9 which has been declared a public holiday).

“How do you expect the ballot boxes to go all around the world and come back on time?”

He also question the lack of vital information, such as how ballot papers will be sent overseas. Is it by courier service or Pos Laju? We do not know.”

He said voters who received their ballot papers late should lodge a report, “that is as much as they can do”.

Early voting, mostly involving military and police personnel and others, takes place on Saturday May 5.

EC chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah has said that there are 300,000 postal voters, mostly Malaysians living abroad, among the 14.9 million eligible to vote

Postal votes must be returned by 5pm May 9

Bersih lists 8 violations on both sides since dissolution