Saturday, October 19

Will automatic voter registration be in time for next Sarawak election?

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A policeman monitors the voters who are waiting for their turn to vote at SK Nanga Ngungun polling station in Kanowit during the 14th General Election held last year. – File photo

KUCHING: It is unlikely that the automatic registration of voters aged 18 and above will be in time for the next Sarawak polls as the Election Commission (EC) expects to take up to two years to put the system in place.

EC deputy chairman Azmi Sharom told Bernama last night that the commission would require from 18 months to two years to get the system up and running.

The 12th Sarawak state election is due in June of 2021 but there has been speculation that it could be held as early as at the end of next year given recent political developments.

Pointing out that the commission was committed to implementing the system although it was a challenging task, Azmi said he was confident it would be in time for the 15th general election which will be held in about four years.

“There is much the EC needs to do… we also have to be ready for the millions of additional voters, like for instance determining the number of polling centres and voting streams needed besides purchasing ballot boxes and beefing up staff strength,” he told Bernama after appearing as a guest on the Ruang Bicara programme titled “Bill on Lowering Voting Age to 18” aired by Bernama News Channel here last night.