25th February 2018
IS YOUR VOTE A SECRET?
Over the past few weeks we received expression of concerned from numerous individuals, especially those from the security forces, if their ballot papers could be traced. Our short answer to this is – No, it’s almost impossible to trace. Hence, your vote is a secret.
Enquiries such as this from the men and women of the security forces show their political consciousness, and rightfully so. Whatever the uncertain future, however the hardship, and the turbulent times ahead, members of the security forces and civilians share a common destiny. We are in need of capable and honest leaders to lead our nation forward. To lead a united Malaysian people into the challenging times ahead.
Theoretically it is possible to trace ballot papers to identify who cast a particular vote. This is because the ballot papers are serialized. The serial numbers have up to six digits. Any attempt to trace would be a very messy and a tedious exercise. Matching the serial numbers of the ballot papers and the counterfoils alone is not enough. The electoral register has to be matched too. This is assuming after one has gone through to sort out the thousands of ballot papers from among the numerous boxes in an electoral constituency. And that too after having obtained a court’s order. Tempering with ballot papers in sealed boxes after the election is illegal. The boxes will have to be kept for six months before their destruction. This duration of six months is for any eventuality of a legal challenge to the result.
Current electoral practice has made tracing of individual’s vote impossible. This is because in the voting room, a first clerk reads out your name and IC number, and then crosses out your name. A second clerk paints your finger. A third clerk tears out a ballot paper, stamps it, and passes it to you. There is no cross reference between the first and third clerk. The ballot papers are issued in sequence of whoever comes first. Hence, there is no record of who receives which serialized ballot paper. Therefore your vote is your secret.
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) with all humbleness urges the Chief of Armed Forces and the Inspector General of Police to issue a statement to their men and women under their charge, to assure them that they may vote without fear or favour. And that voting is also their patriotic duty.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan