PKR polls chief defends integrity of e-voting

PKR is using the e-voting system for the first time in its party polls. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: PKR election committee chairman Rashid Din has defended the party’s e-voting system against an allegation that it makes cheating easy.

Rashid Din.

“There’s no such thing,” he said in response to a claim by two senior PKR leaders that a flaw in the system might have facilitated cheating at the party polls in Kedah.

The two, speaking to FMT on condition of anonymity, voiced concern over the voting process, which was suspended last weekend.

Under PKR’s e-voting system, each party member is given his own quick response (QR) barcode upon presenting his or her MyKad at a voting centre. The code is scanned before the member votes.

The two anonymous sources alleged that the Kedah experience exposed a technical flaw that made it possible for more than one QR code to be generated for each MyKad.

“One IC is supposed to have one QR code number, but now one IC number has three or four different codes,” said one of the sources.

“Something is wrong with the system. It happened in Kedah and it can happen in Perak.”

Rashid laughed off the allegation. “Come on, man,” he said, “don’t tell me there are three to four codes for one MyKad. One MyKad one code, and that’s it.”

The two party leaders said they feared that the alleged flaw could be exploited by division heads to enable them to win in the polls.

“We implemented e-voting to curb cheating, but the system might be allowing cheating,” one of them said.

The other source spoke of another weakness in the system. He said e-voting could not work in remote areas with no internet access.

“So the voting in these places is done offline. The system is connected to the internet at the main centre.”

He urged the election committee to rectify the system.

PKR is the only political party in the country to allow voting by all of its members. This is the first of its elections in which e-voting is employed.

Over the weekend, all voting results from the Kedah PKR elections were invalidated due to technical difficulties with the e-voting system. Polling in eight divisions was postponed.

Polls in Perak, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka have also been postponed.

There were commotions in some places in Kedah, with some throwing of chairs. Police arrested 14 people following a disturbance in Merbok last Saturday.

Election results in all 13 divisions in Penang have been accepted without changes.