If you’re eligible to vote during the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14), that’s great! However, whether or not you’re a first time voter or a returning voter, there are a couple of things you should take note of, such as things you should and shouldn’t do in order to be able to successfully cast your vote on polling day, 9th May.
So, if you’re one of the thousands and thousands of Malaysians going to cast their votes this GE14, here are some important do’s and don’ts to take note of:
1. Bring along your IC
This is common sense but there are people who forget! Before you head off to your respective voting area, make sure you check your wallets to make sure your IC is in there. You won’t be allowed to vote if the people in charge are unable to verify who you are.
2. Make sure your ballot paper has a serial number and certified stamp
If your ballot paper does not have either of the above, or if your stamp is not fully visible, make sure you ask for a new ballot paper. It is your right to get a new one.
3. Vote for your preferred party with an ‘X’ only
Just remember, X marks the spot! No ticks, no circles, no alphabets or numbers, no symbols, just an ‘X‘. Any other markings will be disqualified.
4. Make sure your ballot paper is clean and stainless
Any additional spots or stains on your voting ticket can render your ticket spoiled and no longer usable. If you do pass up a stained ballot paper, your vote may not be taken into consideration during counting. Don’t let your vote go to waste!
5. If you’re working, your employer MUST give you a reasonable period to be out of office to cast your vote
Seeing as to how GE14 falls on 9 May this year, which is a Wednesday, it would be against the law if your employer makes any deductions from your pay or other remunerations, or imposes any penalties on you for missing work because of the elections.
If your employer does end up deducting your pay or imposing any penalties, they are liable to a fine of RM5,000 or imprisonment for one year.
1. Do not wear clothes featuring any party’s logos on them
Besides clothing, you’re also not allowed to hold a water bottle or umbrella containing the name, emblem or symbol of any political party. So, be sure to dress appropriately and keep your preferred party choice p&c!
2. Do not accept any free food or drinks offered by anyone
Especially if they say it’s a treat for those who’ve come out to vote. These free treats could very well be given out corruptly and with ulterior motives. It is illegal regardless whether or not you’re on the giving or receiving end, so to be safe, just avoid taking anything from anyone!
3. Do not keep or bring any ballot papers out of the voting hall
If for some reason you were accidentally given an extra ballot paper or you found one on the floor, return it to the right authorities. Do not even think about keeping it as a souvenir.
4. Do not use your phone while casting a vote
Not even to take an Insta Story of your vote or to answer a phone call. Strictly no phones!
5. Do not use your ballot paper if it is stained, damaged, without a serial number or official stamp, etc.
Even if it’s just a tiny speck on your ticket, or a light pencil mark, make sure to ask for a new one. Your ballot paper should have all the necessary information and be completely spotless. Yes, this is a good time to be OCD.
Once you’re given a new ballot paper, make sure the person taking your old ballot paper slashes the entire paper with a pen to ensure it isn’t usable anymore or used by anyone else. Watch them do this!
6. Do not wait or loiter around after you’re done casting your vote
Yes, it is also against the law to wait or loiter around polling stations if you aren’t a registered voter or if you’ve already cast your vote. Leave the area once you’re done!
Failure to follow any of the above can result not only in a hefty fine or imprisonment, but you might also be barred from voting as well. So, don’t take any chances and make sure you adhere to all the rules! For the full list of Election Offences, visit this page.
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