Bersih 2.0 has repeated its long-held demand for automatic voter registration, based on National Registration Department (NRD) records.
Automatic voter registration was in the Report by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform, added the NGO in a statement. “It was accepted by the political divide in 2012 and Parliament.”
The automated process will ensure correct addresses, the statement continued. “In the long-run, the electoral roll will be more accurate.”
It was commenting on a statement by Election Commission (EC) Chairman Hashim Abdullah on Thursday on voter registration.
The Bersih 2.0 statement stressed that automatic voter registration was not compulsory voting.
Automatic voter registration facilitates voting on polling day. “The registration of all voters must be the priority of the EC,” said Bersih 2.0. “It cannot abdicate its role.”
It pointed out there was already a backlog of at least 4 million voters. “The EC must embrace the 21st Century and start using the many tools at its disposal to increase the number of voters,” it said.
At the current rate of registration by the EC, it has been estimated the number unregistered would not be reduced by GE14 in 2018.
The EC has reportedly made it increasingly difficult since GE13 for political parties and NGOs to conduct voter registration activities. It has already blocked their applications to be Assistant Registration Officers (AROs).
FMT Reporters Online